Tag Archives: #bibliophile

Book Review: Words on Bathroom Walls by Julia Walton

Published in 2017

294 pages

5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Sypnosis:

Adam has just been diagnosed with schizophrenia. He sees and hears people who aren’t there: Rebecca, a beautiful girl who understands him; the Mob Boss, who harasses him; and Jason, the naked guy who’s unfailingly polite. It should be easy to separate the real from the not real, but Adam can’t.

Still, there’s hope. As Adam starts fresh at a new school, he begins a drug trial that helps him ignore his visions. Suddenly everything seems possible, even love. When he meets Maya, a fiercely intelligent girl, he desperately wants to be the great guy that she thinks he is. But then the miracle drug begins to fail, and Adam will do anything to keep Maya from discovering his secret.

Let’s Talk About The Plot:

This was definitely more character orientated than plot orientated, so to keep this spoiler free I’ll keep it short. The reader is taken into the life of Adam, who had recently been diagnosed with schizophrenia, and it really just gives us an insight into his everyday life, as he navigates through school and life in general.

Let’s talk about the characters:

Adam is our narrator, as I mentioned, I honestly thought that he was an amazing male narrator. I felt like I was seeing everything through his eyes, and I felt his torment and intensity when he was having his delusions. He was so smart, and witty, and having the book written as a journal format, in his thoughts, worked so well, because I felt like it was bringing me closer to Adam, seeing other characters as he did, as well as thinking his thoughts about everything and every one.

Maya was a great character too, I felt like she complimented Adam really well, and the two had some great interactions! I also adored Adam’s mum, she was so loyal and protective of her son, and unafraid of him. Hats off to Paul too, Adam’s stepdad, who was such a great male father figure. Every character worked so brilliantly, I felt like they were brought to life in this book so much!

Let’s talk about the writing:

I finished this book in the space of an evening, I couldn’t put it down! The writing felt so natural, it honestly felt like someone’s journal! The pacing was quick, I couldn’t guess what would come next, I was even second guessing what was real in the book and what wasn’t.

Schizophrenia is portrayed so vividly in this book, the illness is something I’ve seen close hand, and the book captures it well! I was actually addicted to reading this book, I tried to pause in between but it wasn’t happening. It was all so vivid! I felt like I was adam, I felt like I could literally see what he saw, literally.

Everyone needs to read this book! I feel like it should be compulsory reading in late high school stages too, honestly. I felt like I learnt a lot from this book, and I hope people that feel like they’re suffering from any mental illness know that they’re not alone.

Also, the quote from Dumbledore, the Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince reference:

“Of course it’s inside your head, Harry. But why does that mean it’s not real?”

Couldn’t be more accurate, period.

And that concludes my review, until next time, Happy Reading 🙂

Brooklyn ~~

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Book Review: The Beast Within by Serena Valentino

Published in 2016

218 pages

2 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Sypnosis:

A cursed prince sits alone in a secluded castle. Few have seen him, but those who claim they have say his hair is wild and nails are sharp–like a beast’s! But how did this prince, once jovial and beloved by the people, come to be a reclusive and bitter monster? And is it possible that he can ever find true love and break the curse that has been placed upon him?

Let’s Talk about the Plot:

Okay, I’m going to keep this one brief, and spoiler free as much as I can. I was interested in this one for some time, being a massive fan of Beauty and the Beast, I was looking forward to hearing from said ‘Beast’, and I liked the whole past to present structure of the story, but I felt like the plot didn’t make sense? Well, it did, but it didn’t seem to contribute anything to the Tale we all know so much and love. I will give the author points thought, it surprised me how she bright Gaston into it as a positive figure. I was hoping for angst, seen as it’s suggested and shown that he was friendly with young Prince Adam, but sadly that didn’t happen.

Let’s talk about the writing:

The writing, as I mentioned, I liked, because it jumped from present to past and then back and forth, and I liked how the author wrote Cogsworth, Lumiere and Mrs Potts, I just feel like perhaps if the book was longer, then the story would’ve made more sense? The ending and the lead up to the ending definitely felt a bit abrupt. Usually I get teary and emotional at the climax of Beauty and the Beast, but I was definitely feeling indifferent when I finished this.

Let’s talk about the characters:

Belle, The Beast, Gaston, Lumiere and Cogsworth were all written well, I liked that very much because I freaking love all those characters (except Gaston). The new characters, Princess Tulip and her Nanny, both just seemed pointless, the former was just a simpering princess in love with the Beast at times, back when he was Prince Adam and not the beast. And the sister group of witches annoyed me to no end. The way they acted was so immature and spiteful! Like, hell bent on getting revenge on The Beast, but then..ahh it all seemed like a loop.

Until next time, happy reading! Oh, and feel free to drop any ‘Beauty and the Beast’ retelling recommendations below!

Book Review: Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

Book 1 in the Passenger Duology

Published in 2016

486 pages

5 out of 5 time travelling stars 🤩

Sypnosis from Goodreads:

In one devastating night, Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has travelled not just miles but years from home.

Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods – a powerful family in the Colonies – and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, his passenger, can find.

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveller who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to their target, treacherous forces threaten to separate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home forever.

My Review:

This book had long been on my TBR, I was excited for when I would read it, and when a friend said he was going to re read it I was like “I’ll read it with you!I often buddy read with this amazing friend, and I know this had long been a favourite of his, and I was definitely hooked from the word go! I loved the writing style, everything flowed so perfectly and flawlessly! At the same time, there was SO much amazing time travel happening, which I freaking loved! It was honestly going in the TARDIS, we were thrust into one era and then right into another! The writing was packed full emotions, I felt like I was going through everything Etta and Nick were! Oh my gosh, both characters are amazing and my heart was with them all the way, through all the emotions, and the plot twists! And I’m adamant that the book felt like an instrumental epic, I could feel the violin undertones throughout! Definitely a memorable read that’ll be going into my all time favourites, cannot wait to read Wayfarer!

Happy reading 🙂

Book Review: The Loneliest Girl in The Universe by Lauren James

Published in 2017

290 pages

4 out of 5 stars

Sypnosis from Goodreads:

Can you fall in love with someone you’ve never met, never even spoken to – someone who is light years away?

Romy Silvers is the only surviving crew-member of a spaceship travelling to a new planet, on a mission to establish a second home for humanity amongst the stars. Alone in space, she is the loneliest girl in the universe until she hears about a new ship which has launched from Earth – with a single passenger on board. A boy called J.

Their only communication with each other is via email – and due to the distance between them, their messages take months to transmit across space. And yet Romy finds herself falling in love.

But what does Romy really know about J? And what do the mysterious messages which have started arriving from Earth really mean?

Sometimes, there’s something worse than being alone .

My Review:

This one definitely caught me unawares, I had it in my TBR for a good while, and then happened to stumble across it at Target unexpectedly, and so I grabbed a copy and quickly became more excited to read it. The cover instantly drew me in and when I started the book, I was instantly hooked, the writing was fast paced, the setting was so vividly captured, I felt like I was there with Romy, who I pretty much instantly adored. I longed to know what would happen next, and I honestly felt like this could’ve been a potential favourite. When ‘J’ entered the story, the intrigue was definitely raised and I was dying for the characters to meet! I love how Romy found solace in one of her favourite tv shows, whilst being alone in space, she was constantly tormented by her demons, whether it be her anxiety, paranoia or general feelings of not being wanted. J had his own angst, and I love how the characters e-mail communications really felt like the two were confiding in one another. And I wanted to know what would happen next!

And then, plot twist.

For me, it practically killed the vibe of J’s character, like really? I get why the author did it, but I felt like it made NO SENSE?! And it came out so suddenly, and I hated how it all made Romy feel. Way to play with all our emotions, I felt like J’s character was unnecessary, after what I read! The ending felt very muddled, but aside from that, I really loved this book!

Happy reading 🙂

Book Review: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe by CS Lewis

First published by Geoffrey Bles, 1950

This edition (171 pages)

5 out of 5 stars

Sypnosis from Goodreads:

They open a door and enter a world

NARNIA…the land beyond the wardrobe, the secret country known only to Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy…the place where the adventure begins.

Lucy is the first to find the secret of the wardrobe in the professor’s mysterious old house. At first, no one believes her when she tells of her adventures in the land of Narnia. But soon Edmund and then Peter and Susan discover the Magic and meet Aslan, the Great Lion, for themselves. In the blink of an eye, their lives are changed forever.

My Review:

I re read this book initially back in 2015, after many many years! I definitely discovered an old favourite as I started re reading this! I was immersed in the magic of the world of Narnia, I mean, Lucy discovers a magical land in the back of a wardrobe! Who doesn’t dream of this?! I love the Pensieve siblings, my favourite characters being of course Lucy, and surprisingly Edmund; I initially couldn’t stand him, but I definitely think he was regretting his actions early on in the book, and he, along with his siblings, all went through such an amazing growth! Seeing these characters grow, and go through what they went through, was amazing! This book got me in all the nostalgia feels, I had goosebumps at certain scenes, I was excited, happy and horrified throughout! The book will definitely be a comfort read, it was just perfection being surrounded by such familiar and cozy characters! And Aslan! How good to see that big cat again!

The writing, okay, sure it’s a ‘children’s’ book, but it’s really for everyone! It’s a classic for a reason! And I definitely recommend this to all! It was great reading the book as an adult, seeing things through ‘older’ eyes, but it was every bit as magical as I remember! The writing is rather fast paced, and it definitely moves along quickly!

Happy reading! 🙂

Book Review: Hexes for The Modern Age (Contemporary Curses For The People Who Irritate You The Most) by Val Brains

Published in 2017 by Skyhorse Books

154 pages

3 out of 5 stars

Sypnosis from Goodreads:

Let’s face it: most people irritate us. Hexes for the Modern Age is a tongue-in-cheek approach to giving these folks a taste of their own medicine. While inspired by witches’ curses of the past, this is a gift book of 120 funny spells specific to the smartphone-obsessed, overworked, hipster-drenched reality of the present day.

Organized by category–love, work, roommates, traffic, pets, weddings, and so on–each hex is accompanied by an irreverent, Demetri Martin-type line drawing.

Spells include: “May you start turning into your parents way earlier than you expected.” “May all the cords to your electronics become entangled in a massive death coil.” “May a full-size parking space that appears to be open actually be taken up by a tiny Vespa scooter.” “May you always have 3 percent phone battery when you have no idea where you’re going and it’s in the middle of nowhere and there’s no one else around.”

And many, many more!

This little book, with a spell and an illustration on every page, is perfect for anyone who wants some subtle modern-day revenge.

My Review:

I received a copy from Harriet McInerney from NewSouth Books in exchange for an honest review. Please note that this does not impact my thoughts on the book in any way.

I was definitely intrigued initially, truthfully I didn’t know what to expect, but I had a hunch that it would be a laugh. Turns out, I was right. A fair few of these ‘curses’ did make me laugh, the ones listed under the ‘family’ and ‘pet’ section especially. I thought each curse was clever, and definitely applicable in this day and age especially, and I’m definitely going to keep an eye out on what the author comes out with next! I especially loved the little illustrations that accompanied each curse, they definitely added some extra humour into each one.

What didn’t do it for me, however, was that I found them to be repetitive? I felt like I was reading a lot of the same thing? Also, I rarely curse people or want to curse people, so I guess I just didn’t follow the sense of the book? But again that’s just me.

Thanks again to Harriet McInerney for the review copy!

Happy reading 🙂

Book Review: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Published in 2015 by St Martin’s Press

517 pages

5 out of 5 stars

Sypnosis from Goodreads:

Simon Snow is the worst chosen one who’s ever been chosen

That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.

Half the time Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he sets something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here – it’s their last year at Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.

Carry On is a love letter to love stories and the power of words – to every ‘chosen one’ who ever had more on their mind than saving the world.

My mini Review:

This book was such an unexpected pleasure! I absolutely loved Fangirl and Landline, but I didn’t know what to expect from Carry On! The result is one of my all time favourite stand alone books! And I’m lamenting that it’s a stand alone because I’d happily read ALL the books about Simon and Baz! This book was full of so many delightful feels and ALOT of angst, it was such an addictive read and my heart was constantly feeling! The fantasy element felt really natural, and the writing was fast paced, I was constantly kept guessing what would come next! It was full of a lot of twists and turns, some things I couldn’t have guessed, and it was amazing! I buddy read this with one of my closest friends, we analysed every chapter; and I can safely say it’s something we’d both recommend to all! The characters will long stay with me and I can see myself re visiting this world! I would love to read more with these characters, Baz and Simon have got to be two of the most precious characters out there! Definitely an outstanding book!

Happy reading 🙂

Book Review: The Autobiography of Henry VIII (with notes by his Fool, Will Somers)

Published in 1986

932 pages

5 out of 5 stars

Sypnosis from Goodreads:

This is the story of England’s most famous, and notorious, king.

Henry was a charismatic, ardent – and brash – young lover who married six times; a scholar with a deep love of poetry and music; an energetic hunter who loved the outdoors; a monarch whose lack of a male heir haunted him incessantly; and a ruthless leader who would stop at nothing to achieve his desires. His monumental decision to split from Rome and the Catholic Church was one that would forever shape the religious and political landscape of Britain.

Combining magnificent storytelling with an extraordinary grasp of the pleasures and perils of power, Margaret George delivers a vivid portrait of Henry VIII and Tudor England and the powerhouse of players on its stage: Thomas Cromwell, Cardinal Wolsey, Thomas More and Anne Boleyn. It is also a narrative told from an original perspective: Margaret George writes from the King’s point of view, injecting irreverent comments from Will Somers – Henry’s jester and confidant.

Mini Review:

This was nothing short of phenomenal! It was utterly amazing! Being obsessed with Tudor England, I have read many a fiction and non fiction book depicting this maniac and will read many a more! But this one definitely goes in a league of its own! The writing was EXCEPTIONAL! If I didn’t know better, I would’ve thought I was reading Henry’s true life memoirs. The way he thought about each one of his wives, from his brother’s intended, Katherine of Aragon (I mean he really thought in the end that his first marriage was an abomination in the eyes of God?! Please!) to his lust for Anne Boleyn and Kitty Howard, to…oh okay, I’ll stop. But anyway, this book was emotionally exhausting but freaking amazing! It’s definitely become a favourite and I doubt I’ll read anything so convincing again! But I know they say ‘truth is stranger than fiction’ so we will see!

And that concludes my review, until next time, happy reading!

Brooklyn 🙂

Book Review: Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Published in 2012 by MIRA Books, an imprint of Harlequin UK Limited

260 pages

4 out of 5 stars

Sypnosis from Goodreads:

“I’ve left some clues for you.

If you want them, turn the page.

If you don’t, put the book back on the shelf, please.”

So begins the latest whirlwind romance from the bestselling authors of Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist. Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions?

Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have written a love story that will have readers perusing bookstore shelves, looking and longing for a love (and a red notebook) of their own.

My Review:

This was such a sweet read! It constantly kept me engaged, I loved both characters and I was anticipating what would happen next! It was the perfect start to my festive reads for the month!

I found the writing style to be refreshing, I liked the note exchanges that both characters swapped, and I enjoyed them going through one another’s riddles that they left the other. Both characters were definitely polar opposites, but loveable all the same; there were some parts in this book that made me roll my eyes, but all in all a wonderful, festive read. I definitely recommend this to anyone that likes cute and unexpected romances, and I’ll definitely be reading book 2 soon.

Oh! I must add, I really like both authors’ writing style, so I’m looking forward to reading more of them in the future 🙂

Note: I’m going to go back to writing mini reviews, I just find I don’t have the time to write full length ones, and my reviews tend to stray to the shorter side, mostly *ahem*. XD

Until next time, Happy Reading!

Brooklyn 🙂

Book Review: Plague City by Jonathan Morris

Published by BBC Books in 2017

246 pages

5 out of 5 stars

Sypnosis from Goodreads:

We should leave. We definitely should leave. But… chatty ghosts!”

The year is 1645, and Edinburgh is in the grip of the worst plague in its history. Nobody knows who will be the next to succumb – nobody except the Night Doctor, a masked figure that stalks the streets, seeking out those who will not live to see another day.

But death is not the end. The Doctor, Bill and Nardole discover that the living are being haunted by the recently departed – by ghosts that do not know they are dead. And there are other creatures lurking in the shadows, slithering, creeping creatures filled with an insatiable hunger.

The Doctor and his friends must face the terrifying secret of the Street of Sorrows – that something which has lain dormant for two hundred million years is due to destroy the entire city…

An original novel featuring the Twelfth Doctor, Bill and Nardole as played by Peter Capaldi, Pearl Mackie and Matt Lucas.

My Review:

This was honestly such an awesome, fun read! As I read it, I felt like I was watching a Doctor Who episode; honestly the pacing was exciting, and I could see the characters saying their lines and everything! The premise definitely intrigued me from the start, and I was constantly trying to figure out what would come next; see, the writing wasn’t at all predictable, there were a lot of twists and feels! I loved all the side characters, Annabell was so sweet and brave, Thomas and Isobel were amazing and I couldn’t help but adore Catherine and Betsy! I would honestly read a sequel based on these characters!

I definitely recommend this to all fellow Whovians!

Until next time, happy reading 🙂

Brooklyn.