April 2018

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I started this month with a cheeky Easter holiday which always means lots of reading.  It’s also funny how much reading you do when you don’t have anything to Netflix binge! There were some great reads for me this month, so here’s what I thought of them all.

  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  • Quidditch Through the Ages by Kennilworthy Whisp (J.K. Rowling)
  • The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan
  • The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner*
  • Nasty Women by 404 Ink
  • Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

“What’s the point of having a voice if you’re gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be?”

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Everyone should read this book, and by everyone, I mean white people. Yes, it is America-centric but the themes reflect the long-standing impact on racism across the world. Obviously, this was not the intention of the author, but as I was reading it I was quite ashamed of my race’s actions. I see myself as an ally to people of colour in their fight against racism, but reading this book made me painfully aware of the impact of underlying (and very obvious) racism has on young people of colour. It helped me to get closer to appreciating what people of colour go through, even in a society that, from the top layer, looks like it’s come a long way in terms of race equality.

Starr and her family felt homely when I was reading this. Most importantly, it showed me that so many different people experience different lives from my own. If you love young adult, and you want to broaden your mind, this is for you. Fantastic piece of fiction, social commentary and entertainment. Well done, Angie Thomas.


Quidditch Through the Ages by Kennilworthy Whisp (J.K. Rowling)

“Madam Pince, our librarian, tells me that it is ‘pawed about, dribbled on, and generally maltreated’ nearly everyday – a high compliment for any book.” 

⭐️⭐️⭐️

It’s hard to go a month without dipping back into the wizarding world of Harry Potter. This time I went for a small book I’d never actually read before. I decided to get this one on Audible because it was newly released and read by Andrew Lincoln and I needed company one day walking home from work.

Look, I only gave it three stars because it wasn’t exactly written to wow. It’s a nice read, enjoyable enough, but there’s no depth to it and it didn’t match up to some of the other short Harry Potter books I’ve read. As always, J.K. Rowling’s witty style livened up the pages with colour, and it was a nice accompaniment to my walk home, but I wouldn’t have been missing out if I’d not read it.


The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan

“On the outside, grief was expressed in judders, faltering and unsure, but inside it felt as constant as breathing.”

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I have to make it clear from the outset that this is the second time I’ve read this, and it’s my favourite new fiction book. I love the world that Kirsty Logan has weaved together to create this beautiful and enchanting story about a circus boat, a girl and her bear, and an outsider looking for forgiveness.

Despite my five star rating, it’s not perfect. I found some of the scenes hard to picture in my mind how she must have, but I just went with what I came up with. But this didn’t matter to me, if anything it made it more magical because it felt more personal and I felt a part of the story.

Sometimes, fiction books are great, but they don’t truly envoke the skill of storytelling. The Gracekeepers is the exact opposite. This is storytelling at it’s best, and if you like a complex set of characters set in a fantasy (but familiar) world, then hop off to the bookshop and pick up a copy of this.


The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner*

“The trouble with San Francisco was that I could never have a future in that city, only a past.”

⭐️⭐️⭐️

I was so torn about my rating for this one. Shall we meet in the middle and say 3.5 stars?

What I loved about this book, was it’s deep analysis and criticism of mass incarceration, particular with reference to the USA but the themes are familiar here in the UK too. This was one of those books that perfectly fills the role of fiction as a commentary on society and is definitely worth a read.

However, the book is written with chapters focussing on a certain character at the time, and one particular character I just didn’t understand the point of having there. Which meant that every time (not often but still) the chapter focussed on him, I either put the book down because I wasn’t interested or tried to rush through it to the next chapter.

All-in-all though, if you enjoy the kind of fiction that challenges the world and makes you seriously think about the issues we face in society, then you will definitely enjoy this. It was well written, and I’m without-a-doubt glad that I picked it up.


Nasty Women by 404 Ink

“There are so many rules that come with being a girl that you forget sometimes that these rules are fictitious patriarchal bullshit.”

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I don’t really know how to feel about this. I read it in audiobook form and it took me ages to finish. On the one hand, it was handy to be able to just dip into each different chapter/essay for 10-20 mins and then pick it back up two weeks later, but it struggled with the flow.

Although, undoubtedly, this is an eye-opening read. What I loved most about it, and why it’s received four stars from me, is it’s commitment to diversity of voices. Feminism is not feminism without intersectionality, and I really learned a lot about other women’s experiences. This book definitely deserves a place on the to-read shelf of any woman committed to gender equality.


Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

“If she thinks me drinking coffee is big news, it’s going to be quite a fucking morning.”

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

YES. YES. YES. YES. We should all know by now that I love a good young adult. They’re easy and quick to read and full of real characters and real emotion, and this one was SPOT ON.

I knew I wanted to see this film, but it’s practically a cardinal sin to watch an adapted film before reading the book first. So I knuckled down and oh, my, am I glad I did. I think my favourite thing about this book, was Simon’s family. I loved them, they were so real and loving and awesome. Often in YA you get parents who are controlling or annoying in because it’s not cool to be friends with your parents when you’re a teen, so this was such a breath of fresh air.

But let’s not forget the most important thing about this book. It told a story about real teenagers and one particular boy’s understanding of sexuality. And at the end of the day, this was a love story. It was so true to teen feelings and I almost felt transported back to my days in high school fawning over my most recent crush. Becky Albertalli really is talented with this genre. Not a book to be missed.


So there you have it, April’s reads all tied up! I was quite sad when I came to the end of Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda because when you read such a fantastic book, I always think that my next one will never live up to it. But I’m sure that won’t be the case, and tune back in next month for lots more excellent reads. In the meantime keep up to date with where I’m escaping to on Goodreads and Instagram.

Happy reading. 💕📚


*Please note that this was a review copy given to me free-of-charge by the publisher.

March 2018

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Happy Spring! Ish… I’m a winter girl 90% of the time but I do confess I’m looking forward to being able to go outside with just a cardigan on! The best part is that each season has its own special impact on reading and spring brings with it Easter free time and spring days of outdoor reading. But until the weather improves, I’ll be snuggled up under a blanket with my current read. These are the books I read in March:

  • Death in Venice by Thomas Mann
  • Things a Bright Girl Can Do by Sally Nicholls
  • Red Clocks by Leni Zumas
  • Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend

Death in Venice by Thomas Mann

“but in that empty, measureless space our sense of time also suffers, and we daze in the disorienting shapelessness.”

⭐️⭐️⭐️

I had to read this as part of my course and to be honest, my reading list for this module hasn’t thrilled me so this is the only one I’ve completely finished! I did enjoy it, but I’m not a huge fan of books where the plot is a little feeble.

The story is about a writer who travels to Venice because he’s suffering writer block and the plot revolves around his experience while staying at the hotel alongside other guests. It’s fair to say that some of this book is uncomfortable because he clearly has *inappropriate* feelings towards a young boy. However, that being said, a lot of books have questionable characters in and you can still enjoy them.

Look, it’s not exactly a contemporary page turner but it’s a decent modernist piece. If that’s your kind of thing then I’m sure it’ll please you.


Things a Bright Girl Can Do by Sally Nicholls

“It suggested that doing the right thing was a lot more complicated than she’d thought it was”

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Love, love, love this book. I’m not a historical fiction fan but the themes of this young adult novel made me forgo my usual thinking and jump right in. Not only was this a brilliant story based on the suffrage movement, but I also appreciated the LGBT characters and the issues of social class in relationships.

It’s kind of surprising that more fiction books aren’t written about the suffrage movement, especially younger fiction. It’s a great way to get kids interested in women’s history. The only thing I would say is that there was a far bigger focus on WWI than I expected before starting the book. That’s not necessarily a negative, it was still a great book, but the suffrage movement was only the main focus of the first half of the book.

Simply, this was a fun and easy read and I’d recommend it highly!


Red Clocks by Leni Zumas

“She knew—it was her job as a teacher of history to know—how many horrors are legitimated in public daylight, against the will of most of the people.” 

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I was so excited about this book that I pre-ordered it! Set in present-day future (ish) Oregon just after abortion is criminalised nationally, along with IVF and adoption for anyone other than couples.

What is scary, is that this isn’t really a dystopia because it’s legitimately a possibility. Leni Zumas wrote creatively and really tested what it means to be a woman in the western world. What I loved was how she wove a story which emphasised the importance of bodily autonomy on women’s general freedom and choice.

The chapters focussing on the mender were a little bizarre at times but I understand that reflected the character. If you’re interested in feminist literature, political fiction or dystopia then this book is spot on. Read it!


Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend

“The point is—as far as the Society is concerned—if you are not honest, and determined, and brave, then it doesn’t matter how talented you are.” 

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

PSA: READ THIS BOOK. Some are comparing it to Harry Potter, and I’m not sure I would do that because to be honest, that’s impossible to live up to, but I will say that this series will be a huge success.

Morrigan Crow, a cursed child, manages to evade death and get a space in the trials for a coveted school. She’s a highly likable character and I really rooted for her. Each character has their unique features making them super readable. This is one of those books that suffered from being pigeon-holed into an age group – it’s a brilliant read for kids, teens and adults alike and all should read it.

Magic, giant talking cats and traveling via umbrella – what’s not to love?


What a month! I got lucky with some excellent reads this month, so April has a lot to live up to. See you next month, and as always keep up to date with where I’m escaping to on my Goodreads profileTwitterInstagram and Facebook Page.

Happy reading. 💕📚

Index

0-9

Nasty Women by 404 Ink

A

Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

The Power by Naomi Alderman

Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood

B

Peter Pan by J.M.Barrie

Women & Power: A Manifesto by Mary Beard

The Polar Bear Explorers’ Club by Alex Bell

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

C

The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

D

E

The Brain: A Story of You by David Eagleman

F

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

G

Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham

H

The Radleys by Matt Haig

The Doll Funeral by Kate Hamer

The End We Start From by Megan Hunter

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

I

J

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James

Not in Your Genes by Oliver James

K

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner*

L

Things That Are: Encounters with Plants, Stars and Animals by Amy Leach

The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan

M

Death in Venice by Thomas Mann

One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus

How to be Champion by Sarah Millican

Moranifesto by Caitlin Moran

A History of Britain in 21 Women by Jenni Murray

N

Things a Bright Girl Can Do by Sally Nicholls

O

P

Animal: The Autobiography of a Female Body by Sara Pascoe

Everywoman by Jess Phillips

Northern Lights by Philip Pullman

The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman

The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman

Q

R

What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton

Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies (Pottermore Presents #1) by J.K. Rowling

Short Stories from Hogwarts of Power, Politics and Pesky Poltergeists (Pottermore Presents #2) by J.K. Rowling

Hogwarts: An Incompletely and Unreliable Guide (Pottermore Presents #3) by J.K. Rowling

The Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell

S

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

Autumn by Ali Smith

Swing Time by Zadie Smith

Depression: Vintage Minis by William Styron

T

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend

U

V

Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer

W

A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled by Ruby Wax

How Not To Be A Boy by Robert Webb

Artemis by Andy Weir

Quidditch Through the Ages by Kennilworthy Whisp (J.K. Rowling)

Doing It! by Hannah Witton

X

Y

Black Chalk by Christopher J. Yates

Z

Red Clocks by Leni Zumas


*Please note that this was a review copy given to me free-of-charge by the publisher.

February 2018

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In February, I welcomed in my 25th year of being! Now I’m 24 and officially in my mid-twenties, I couldn’t be happier looking ahead and seeing wonderful books in my future! I’ve really found my *love* and it’s so much fun sharing it with you. So here are my February book reviews:

  • One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus
  • Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer
  • Women & Power: A Manifesto by Mary Beard
  • Artemis by Andy Weir

One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus 

“I know what it’s like to tell yourself a lie so often that it becomes the truth.” 

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I was surprised how much I enjoyed this. I do like the occasional ‘who-dun-it’ style book, but I tend to find them a little disappointing because the culprit never seems to be enough after a whole book a speculating. I didn’t feel like this with One of Us Is Lying. Plus, we all know by now that I have a real soft spot for Young Adult!

The characters were pigeon-holed into their cliques at the beginning and the drama of the novel shows the reader that there is always more to a person than any label that has been placed upon them. I think the book also serves as a timely reminder that you never know what’s going on in a person’s life, so don’t always jump to conclusions.


Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer

“There were no reasons so mighty that they could override the desire to be in accord with the tides and the passage of seasons and the rhythms underlying everything around me.”

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Who hasn’t heard of this by now? Well before I knew it was being turned into a film by Netflix, I saw the trilogy featured on a table in the sci-fi section of a bookshop and they coloured me intrigued. I plunged into the first one and didn’t regret it.

It’s a strange one because I normally hate it when all my questions aren’t answered but this wasn’t the case here. The story worked and felt neat. It’s always refreshing to have a book full of women just being people, rather than being defined by their gender so that was a real plus. I do plan to read the other two in the trilogy at some point, but I didn’t feel the need to drive straight into the second one – take that as a good or bad thing depending on your reading style.

Nicely written novella and perfect for a sci-fi lover or someone who likes an odd dip into the genre.


Women & Power: A Manifesto by Mary Beard

“You cannot easily fit women into a structure that is already coded as male; you have to change the structure.”

⭐️⭐️⭐️

This book was so confusing for me! I really couldn’t decide how I felt about it. Look, from one side it was great. I love a book that can explain the ingrained patriarchy in our society, and there were moments of brilliance to it. It’s formed of two speeches made by Mary Beard so it’s not long, but I can imagine they were good lectures.

However, here’s the stick: it wreaked of white middle-class feminism. I can’t speak on behalf of other races but as a working-class woman who was one of the first in my family to go to University, it felt a bit elitist. I know she’s a professor and that’s what these lectures were all about, but the book doesn’t contribute to the intersectional feminist movement as I thought it might. Ultimately, for me, the message was fogged by this. There are better examples of feminist literature that don’t fall into these traps.


Artemis by Andy Weir

“How dare you call me lazy? I’d come up with a scathing retort but, meh, I’m just not motivated.”

⭐️⭐️⭐️

I was really torn between 3 or 4 stars but went for the lower because of a couple of reasons.

Firstly, this is a really enjoyable book. I did like it. As with The Martian, the mix of science, humour and painfully relatable human experience worked very well and if you enjoyed Weir’s first novel, you’re likely to get along well with this one.

But it wasn’t perfect or as good as The Martian. My main problem was that every so often, the main character, Jazz, just didn’t seem believable. Maybe this was because she was written by a man, but her quips and jokes sometimes seemed forced and kinda cringe. It was a shame that because of this, the story had a tinge of ‘hmm’ to it.


Thanks again for reading! I’m hoping eventually to catch up properly with my book reviews but as always, life can sometimes get in the way! Until next month, keep up to date with where I’m escaping to on my Goodreads profileTwitterInstagram and Facebook Page.

Happy reading. 💕📚

January 2018

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Welcome to 2018! My reading target for the year is 50 books so I really set the bar high! There are so many different books I want to read, that if I have any hope of doing so then I need to crack on. Here’s my first set of reviews for 2018:

  • Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Autumn by Ali Smith
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  • The Radleys by Matt Haig
  • Not in Your Genes by Oliver James

Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

“The knowledge of cooking does not come pre-installed in a vagina.”

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Short, sweet and to the point. I loved We Should All Be Feminists and I loved this one too. This is especially important I think, because I always wonder how I can raise a boy or a girl without allowing our culture’s ingrained sexism and misogyny to influence them. But the most important thing is that they know they aren’t judged and they can do anything that they want to do – it’s about choice.

I haven’t read any of Chimamanda’s fiction work – would anyone recommend it? If her feminist manifestos are anything to go by, then they must be brilliant.


Autumn by Ali Smith

“I’m tired of the news. I’m tired of the way it makes things spectacular that aren’t, and deals so simplistically with what’s truly appalling.

⭐️

Controversial rating and opinion on this best seller. What on Earth was this book? I didn’t get it at all. Nothing even happened…

It was sold as a ‘Brexit book’ when Brexit was only mentioned a handful of times. Who knows, maybe I’m missing something but I thought it was pretty poor and I had to force myself to finish it. I was really disappointed considering all the rave reviews but I genuinely can’t see what everyone loved about it.

Also, it was the only book that I’ve actually fallen asleep while reading. Sorry Ali Smith fans, but this wasn’t worth the time.


Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

“There must be something in books, something we can’t imagine, to make a woman stay in a burning house; there must be something there. You don’t stay for nothing.”

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

A great example of a classic novel which has been on my to-read shelf for ages and when I finally got around to reading it, I questioned why on earth it took me so long.

It’s not a huge book, so in parts, I wish I knew more, but only because I enjoyed it so much that I was thirsty for the story. I loved particularly the emphasis that it’s not about the physical books, it’s about the knowledge and the ideas being passed down to inform future generations.

Any book lover should give Fahrenheit 451 a go. It spoke to my inner bibliophile.


The Radleys by Matt Haig

“To read, to seek, to know.”

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This is not the kind of fiction book that wows critics or gets lots of praise for its prose, but it’s definitely up there in terms of enjoyable easy reading. This is actually the first fiction book by Matt Haig that I’ve read after loving Reasons to Stay Alive and I’m will definitely be reading more.

The story was engaging and I finished it in no time. For that reason, I couldn’t give it less than 4 stars. It’s no classic, but it’s a very good escape from the real world. If that’s not what fiction is about, then what is?


Not in Your Genes by Oliver James

“Because the maltreatment was like the air or light in a room, something they were so used to that they took it for granted, it is hard for them to see.”

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I could say quite a lot about this book, but I’ll keep is short for my own sanity’s sake. I related to a huge about of this book, and I’ve always been a nurture over nature person so it was like reading a manifesto for my experiences and beliefs. Even if you didn’t experience much maltreatment as a child, it’s a great read.

I was never really interested in science as a kid, but as an adult, I’m thrilled by popular science books. If that’s also your thing, then I’d definitely recommend this.


A great start to a year full of reading! Until next month, keep up to date with where I’m escaping to on my Goodreads profileTwitterInstagram and Facebook Page.

Happy reading. 💕📚

December 2017

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So many books, so little time. Does anyone else ever get overwhelmed by how many books there are in the world which I want to read? My to-read list increases far quicker than my read list… This month I read three books, plus re-listened to Matt Haig’s Christmas books but I’m just going to stick with newly read books to review. Here you go:

  • Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood
  • The Polar Bear Explorers’ Club by Alex Bell
  • Black Chalk by Christopher J. Yates

Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood

“For once in their lives, they loved themselves.” 

⭐️⭐️⭐️

This book is part of a series of Shakespeare’s plays retold. Hag-Seed tells the story of The Tempest. As one who spent most of my childhood confused at Shakespeare, this book really helped me to appreciate his work. I was torn about how many stars I thought it deserved because, to be honest, it was a bit slow. But the further I got through it, the better it was. Margaret Atwood is always impressive.

If you like Shakespeare or The Tempest, then you’d probably enjoy it. Likewise, if you’re an Atwood fan. It’s pushed me to seek out a production of The Tempest playing near me, so it must have been good!


The Polar Bear Explorers’ Club by Alex Bell

“It sounded like a respectable and worthy enough death for an explorer – tumbling from an ice bridge to be impaled upon a mammoth tusk”

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This was a really sweet and enjoyable kids book. I was drawn in by the mention of polar bears – my favourite animal – but I stayed for the badass girl character and mish-mash group of young adventurers. I even recommended this book to my boyfriend’s young cousin!

It was deliciously random at times. She had so many different pets, I was loving it. It was typical in any way really, it was imaginative, fresh and really readable. All-in-all, this book is a great example of creative and comforting kid lit.


Black Chalk by Christopher J. Yates

“The true gambler plays for the thrill, the sheer ecstasy of taking part.”

⭐️⭐️⭐️

This was the kind of book where it kept me reading because I was waiting and expecting it all to suddenly get good. It wasn’t a bad read at all, but it lacked depth in characters and most importantly, in the climax.

It constantly teased at what could happen and who ends up being the *one* and it’s a case of raising expectations too high so that nothing will ever be good or clever enough. Also, I was expecting much more daring ‘consequences’ seen as it’s claimed to be a thriller – half of the stuff mentioned the characters hugely overreacted to.

Had the characters been more developed and expectations kept low it could have been better. Nevertheless, it kept me reading and I enjoyed it somewhat.


As always, more book reviews are coming in January 2018! In the meantime, keep up to date with where I’m escaping to on my Goodreads profileTwitterInstagram and Facebook Page.

Happy reading. 💕📚

November 2017

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November was my young adult book month. I found The Loneliest Girl in the Universe and They Both Die at the End on bookstagram and I couldn’t resist. There is just something about YA which will always make me feel cosy and safe. Plus, they’re never pretentious, instead they’re always real and relatable, even if they’re dystopian. I also added And Then There Were None to my list. I knew the story because of the BBC adaptation (which was awesome) but this was the first Christie I’ve ever read! Anywho, on with reviews.

  • The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James
  • They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera
  • And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James

“I’m balanced on the edge of oblivion with only a fragile skin of metal separating me from the void of space.”

⭐️⭐️⭐️

I really do have a huge soft spot for YA. This one drew me in because of its sci-fi qualities but also it’s teenage-feelings-and-crap style. The whole concept of this novel felt like a YA version of The Martian – which is a very good thing to be. Essentially, a girl is born on a spaceship heading to a new planet but the other crew and her parents die so she grows up alone.

What I liked most about this novel was the character. Romy, despite being in a situation no one in this world would ever be in right now, felt totally real. I felt her fear, her anxiety, and her determination.


They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

“I’ve spent years living safely to secure a longer life, and look where that’s gotten me. I’m at the finish line but I never ran the race.” 

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I loved this one. Another YA, this time based in future where we’re called up in the early hours of the morning on the day we’re going to die. In this world, there’s an app called the Last Friend where you can meet up with others who are dying today (or people who volunteer to be your friend on the day you die).

Would I want to know? I don’t think so. You can sense the anxiety the boys have when faced with just crossing the road. It essentially turns your final day in a day of fear. Although they turn it around, I doubt I would have the mental strength. The whole thing is rather heartwrenching.

But there was so much to like in this book. I would wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who likes YA but also anyone who likes to read a book which makes you think. I confess to placing my bookmark in far too often to share a thought on death with my boyfriend.


And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

“The blessed relief when you know that you’ve done with it all – that you haven’t got to carry the burden any longer. You’ll feel that too someday…”

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

What can I say which hasn’t already been said about Christie? Particularly this book, probably one of her best or most well-known. What I will say is that she clearly seems to be the master of ‘who-dun-it?’. Even though I knew, I was still questioning myself throughout the novel and trying to work it out. This is why her work is genius, she never leaves you disappointed.

It’s almost in a similar vein to They Both Die at the End. The further into the book, the more the island’s guests realise they’re going to die. How does anyone cope with that situation? We don’t know, but one thing I do know is that we’re programmed to want to survive, so whether you’d ever truly accept it is difficult to say.

This book is a great, easy and enjoyable read – sometimes that’s just the ticket.


Another month gone and three more books on my ‘read’ shelf. Next month will feature Margaret Atwood and kid lit! In the meantime, keep up to date with where I’m escaping to on my Goodreads profileTwitterInstagram and Facebook Page.

Happy reading. 💕📚

October 2017

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October was the month of my 24 hour readathon for charity, so a few of these were read as a part of that. I read others during that time but didn’t finish them so it would be outrageous to allow them in my covetted October book reviews! Here’s what I read this month and what I thought about them:

  • What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton
  • The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • Swing Time by Zadie Smith
  • How to be Champion by Sarah Millican

What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton

“I do not wish women to have power over men, but over themselves.”

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The world came crashing down around me on election night in 2017. I’m not even American but the result zapped most of my faith in people completely away. It was crushing for all those who’ve fought for love, tolerance and the advancement of women.

I was lucky enough to volunteer at one of Clinton’s rallies in New Hampshire in the summer of 2016 while I was in Boston. It was incredible to be a part of the movement behind her and I got quite emotional. So you can imagine how I was when reading her book.

The shining light of this book was her resilience. I’ve lost a crappy little student election before and it was super painful, to go through what she has and still stand strong at the end is utterly awe-inspiring. There are moments of sadness and moments of hope in this book, and if you want a very personal account of the election, then here it is.

#ImStillWithHer


The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

“It is such a secret place, the land of tears.”

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I read this book in one sitting during my attempt at a 24-hour readathon. I needed something to dull my brain a little but that also had a little bit of magic to it. This was just the ticket.

I’m ashamed to say that it’s the first time I’ve read it. It’s a very lovely tale and something I will for sure read to my kids when the day comes. Simply put, there are lines in this like the one quoted above which move me.


Swing Time by Zadie Smith

“Yes, sometimes it’s the strangers that sustain you.”

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I also read this during my readathon and I was pleasantly surprised. I bought this because it was in Waterstones’ buy-one-get-one-half-price, an offer I know well, and it was all the rage. I’m always a little skeptical about books which live on their own bookshop table for so long because expectation rockets to levels almost unreachable. But I went in knowing nothing about this book except that people seemed to like it.

And I now belong to that very group. It’s lingered in my mind since, too. One of those books that grows on you even after you’ve stopped reading it. I’ll happily confess that it’s a book worthy of its praise.

I only have one main downside, and that’s that none of the characters are 100% likable. However, saying that, when do people fulfill that criteria in real life?


How to be Champion by Sarah Millican

“There’s no social mobility at school; if you’re a dowdy nerd, you’re a dowdy nerd for five years. But the minute you leave, you can be a funny girl with nine GCSEs and the whole world ahead of her.”

⭐️⭐️⭐️

I have to confess that the quote above wasn’t selected for any reason other than it was the only one I could find. I listened to this on audiobook and I forgot to make notes on good quotes I liked!

Overall, this was a good book. I like her no-shame approach to life and all the shit bits, it’s refreshing and empowering. Plus, she’s really frank about her experiences and feelings which is great to hear from a working-class woman comic. There’s a fair amount of amusing stories in the book which put a smile on my face while I was walking to work.

I’m not exactly a diehard Sarah Millican fan, but you don’t have to be to enjoy this autobiography.


Another month, another set of book reviews! Tune in next month for the same again! In the meantime, keep up to date with where I’m escaping to on my Goodreads profile, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook Page.

Happy reading. 💕📚

September 2017

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I’m so behind on my book reviews! This September 2017 post is coming to you from the wonders January 2018. My excuse is that I started my MA in English Literature and Creative Writing in September causing everything to take a back seat. But better late than never:

  • Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • How Not To Be A Boy by Robert Webb

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood

“Language itself had lost its solidity; it had become thin, contingent, slippery; a viscid film on which he was sliding around”

⭐️⭐️⭐️

It took me a long time to get into this book. I’m talking 100 pages before I was even slightly convinced. But I am glad I stuck it out. The last 100 or so pages were really good, it was just slow at the beginning. To be honest, I was a little disappointed just because I had high expectations but it was worth the read. I still haven’t decided whether I’ll be reading the other two books in the series. They’re not really a series but more all set in the same world/time etc.

Ultimately, the story (once I got into it) was pretty enticing and a very interesting dystopian concept. I’m always persuaded by this genre and Atwood is the Queen.


The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

I’m quite ashamed to say how long it took me to read this. But, what, a, book. The writing is just phenomenal. It’s an easy and short read too, making it likely I’ll dip in and out of it when I need a bit of comforting.

Sometimes, I’ve gone into classics like this with either skepticism or high expectations but The Great Gatsby proved exactly why it has a place on the shelf of literary masterpieces. All of the characters are knitted with complexity and it’s quite a breath of fresh air. I love books that don’t shy away from deep meaning and this is one not to be missed.


How Not to Be a Boy by Robert Webb

“My brain is hosting one of the first contests in what will be come a regular fixture: feminism vs the patriarchy”

I would consider myself quite the connoisseur of feminist non-fiction books, having been on a diet of them for many years now, but this is the first that has been written by a man. Obviously, this is an autobiography so it’s primary goal is to share the life of the author, but it still complements the plight of women’s equality.

I very much appreciated his candor and lack of defensiveness in the tone of his writing. Even men who consider themselves feminist can get defensive about the patriarchy because our culture has trained them to do just that. But this was a breath of fresh air. A particularly resonant part for me was his experiences related to his sexuality – being a bi man married to a woman.

Both my boyfriend and I listened to this book together on Audible, so I thought I’d add something from his perspective to this review too.

“I thought there were some really important points for every young boy to hear and while the biographical element took over a bit in some places (expected for an autobiography) it still gave me insights lots of various things, especially as a white, straight man. ”


So there you have it, September’s very, very, very, delayed reviews. Worth the wait right? Right?… Anywho, as always, keep up to date with where I’m escaping to on my Goodreads profile, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook Page.

Happy reading. 💕📚

August 2017

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Even though there are only two books below, I’ve actually read four books this month. But two of which I have already read many times before, and re-lived in the form of audiobooks read by the brilliant Stephen Fry – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Need I even review these? I don’t think so, they’re golden and I don’t believe there is a need for another review saying so. Instead, I’ll stick to just those two books I read for the first time:

  • The End We Start From by Megan Hunter
  • Things That Are: Encounters with Plants, Stars and Animals by Amy Leach

The End We Start From by Megan Hunter

“How easily we have got used to it all, as though we knew what was coming all along,”

⭐️⭐️

I was drawn to this book by its dystopian genre. I have a soft spot for this style, and as someone who’s very much aware of the impending damage that climate change presents, I have often considered how this would intersect with my desire to have children. Hunter tells the story of a mother and baby’s first year just as the country collapses due to flooding. But the premise did not live up to its promise.

I do love a good metaphor, especially powerful and poetic ones featured in The End We Start From, but there’s a limit. Overuse kills the impact and I felt that this book was ‘flooded’ with metaphors instead of substance. It felt like a diary, but not in a good way. I’m sure this style was obviously intentional, but I felt I was missing some desperately needed context and description. It was a real shame for me to be disappointed in this novel – I was so ready to love it.

I would still be tempted to read more from this author, but I would go in with lower expectations. At least it was an easy read, but not one I’d particularly recommend.


Things That Are: Encounters with Plants, Stars and Animals by Amy Leach

“The bear in the sky is sometimes mistaken for a ladle or a prawn, or the government, while the bear on the ground rarely is.”

⭐️⭐️⭐️

I’m ashamed to say how much this book taught me about nature! I keep confidently exerting my new favourite fact about Panda’s and their bamboo addiction. Once you’ve come to terms with the style of writing that Leach uses, you can embrace this book, but it still had its downsides.

Leach goes through nature picking and choosing random features to discuss in this book. What I loved about her style was the use of personification. This stopped the subjects becoming dry and made the book feel much more magical. There’s no doubting her skills at creative nonfiction.

Although considering the topics, I would have liked to see some beautiful complimentary illustrations. Chapters focusing on certain flowers/plants could have been vastly improved by this – I do not like to feel the need to google something. But I also feel it would have added a nice whimsical aspect just to pull everything together.

Like I said, if you can embrace her style, it’s fairly enjoyable even if slightly bizarre. I’m not sure I would actively seek to read more of Leach’s work – it felt like too much effort to plow through her writing.


I begin my Master’s course in English Literature and Creative Writing in September! Hopefully, this will just improve my reviews but while I’m getting used to the workload, my personal reading may take a back seat. In the meantime, keep up to date with where I’m escaping to on my Goodreads profile, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook Page.

Happy reading. 💕📚