Saturday, 25 April 2015

#14 Hopeless

Hopeless by Colleen Hoover

This story follows Sky and Holder as they discover more about themselves and each other. Sky is a 17 year old that has been deprived from normal teenage life with no TV or internet, she is even home schooled. When her mum Karen caves and lets her enroll for her final year of high school she meets Holder and chaos ensues. This is a whirlwind romance that will have you wanted more long after you turn the final page. 

I had very mixed feelings about this book. It started off really slowly and i didn't really become enraptured into the story. The first 100 pages or so are very plain, not what you would expect from the queen of NA. At the 150 page mark i became obsessed and proceeded to read the rest in one sitting. A book that started out as a two stars ended as a solid 4. Ive read many Colleen Hoover books now, she is definitely one of my favorite authors, although this book was good it wasn't better than Maybe Someday which remains in poll position.

There are many adult themes in this book that shouldn't be tackled by the younger reader so i would be careful before picking this one up. The back of the book leads you to believe that this is a story of boy meets girl, it is so much more than that and is definitely on the new adult/close to adult genre.

The main things i enjoyed about this story was the characters, they are all extremely relatable and likable. There is also a range of characters that bring different elements to the story. I was disappointing that Six didn't play a bigger part in the story as i really enjoyed her sassyness. Another thing i really enjoyed was the flashback memories of 13 years previous to the main story, these offered great insight into Sky's life before she was adopted although they were a little confusing at times. What is commendable is how Colleen writes realistic relationships, there was none of this prince charming that never does anything wrong bullshit, she ensured that Holder messed up as many times as possible which is exactly how relationships are in the real world. I was also pretty happy with the ending, i had a few different scenarios but wasn't sure which one it would turn out to be. 

This is a fantastic story, great for people that are new to the NA genre and would like something darker and with more mature themes than YA. 

Saturday, 18 April 2015

#13 The Girl on the Train

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

'I once read a book by a former alcoholic where she described giving oral sex to two different men, men she had just met in a restaurant on a busy London high street. I read it and thought. im not that bad. This is where the bar is set'

This fast paced crime thriller follows multiple narratives but the main focus is on Rachel (yes I was super excited at reading a book where the protagonist has my name but she's a hot mess so that quickly diminished)

Rachel is a recently divorced alcoholic that suffers from frequent blackouts. Her ex husband Tom left her for another woman, Anna. These characters have their own sub plot throughout but the main focus is Megan and her husband Scott. Megan goes missing fairly early on and the whodunit storyline is the main drive for the story. There were many contenders and I was on 80% before I figured this one out so im quite pleased with that.

Now lets address the elephant in the room.... This story couldn't be further from Gone Girl. I really enjoyed Gone Girl but it was very predictable whereas this was not. Don't you just hate it when people say two books are he same when they aren't. Give this book its credit as its unique and interesting in its own right.

This is a difficult review to write as I don't want to give anything away as most of the joy comes from not knowing. Alas I really enjoyed this one, 4.5/5 stars from me.

Saturday, 11 April 2015

#12 Me Before You

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

I dont even know where to begin. This was a very different take on a romance story. I fell head over heels for these characters. 

This story follows Louisa, a 26yr old a girl from poor beginnings who has held the same job in a cafe for years, when the cafe closes she receives a job opportunity as a carer with great pay, she takes it. Enter Will, a 35yr old who due to an unfortunate motorbike accident is a quadriplegic.

Louisa signs a 6 month contract to care for Will and to try and cheer him up. Before the accident Will lived life to the full, he went skiing, did bungee jumping and had a highly powerful job in London. When Louisa begins her new job Will is quite obviously not thrilled with her presence but as time goes on their friendship blossoms and it was such a lovely thing to read. 

This book is not for the faint hearted it has a lot of ups and downs and it completely tore my heart out. The main themes that drive this book is self worth, Will struggles with leaving his past life behind and cannot cope with being dependent on other people. It is also about courage and making decisions about what you are comfortable with. Will teaches Louisa some valuable lessons in how to live life to the full and to never settle for less than you deserve, her confidence sores as the story progresses. 

This book is categorized as an adult romance chick lit novel but it is so much more than that. The story is endearing, the characters are instantly loveable and it drives home the political statement that people are unable to end their own lives with dignity legally in the UK.  

Monday, 6 April 2015

#11 The Constant Princess

The Constant Princess (The Tudor Court Book 1) by Philippa Gregory

I have never taken any interest in historical fiction, i hated history at school and never really learnt anything about the history of the UK, i vaguely remember learning about trenches but the rest is an absolute blip. I really dont know why i picked this book up, id heard good things and the cover was pretty, it was also an absolute bargain of £1.99.

The story begins in Spain, 1491. The first 50 or so pages i was convinced that i was going to put the book down as a DNF (did not finish) but then something just clicked, i just got it from that point on and it has been an unbelievable page turner!

Dont get me wrong, i didnt have a clue what was going on, Catalina was the female protagonist and i was thinking surely i remember her being called Catherine and she also married Arthur and i was thinking wait a minute i thought this book was about Katherine of Aragon who was the first wife of Henry the eighth. I had to do a little research but i found that this Philippa woman is on point, not only is this book a remarkable work of fiction it is also for the most part historically accurate.

Catherine is a most enjoyable character and you really grow to admire her resistance, even from a young age she is remarkably sensible and mature. Arthur really grows on you, at first i had great distaste for him but after time the character development is really apparent and i found myself caring about what was to become of him. If you read the back of the book or indeed know anything about the Tudor monarchy, you will be aware that Arthur dies a premature death and Catalina/Katherine sets her sights on becoming queen of England, the only way to ensure this is to marry Arthur's younger brother Henry.

Henry is not a very likeable character even from the beginning he is attention seeking and immature. Although, he proves himself later on when he is a little older but only for a while then he reverts back to his childish selfish tendencies. Things did not go to well for Katherine, all she desired was to be a good queen. Poor gal.

To conclude, this story is fascinating to both history buffs and people who arent into history. Its historically accurate, due to the authors Phd. Great read.