Tuesday, 29 September 2015


You by Caroline Kepnes

I have waited long and hard to own this book, alas thank you Amazon for your 3 for £10 paperback sale! 

You is the story of Joe Goldberg a sales assistant in an old quirky book shop. Although his age is never disclosed my guess would be mid to late twenties. Joe appears to be your average guy (at first) he lives alone and seems t be dedicated to his job, the first real that something is off is that there is no mention of friends really and his family arent discussed much.

When Guinevere Beck enters the book shop one day the story takes off. Joe become obsessed with her due t one relatively meaningless conversation they had over the transaction of a book they had both read and enjoyed.Joe becomes completely and utterly obsessed with Guinevere or Beck as shes usually known. He hacks into her email, steals her phone, memorizes her posts on social media and stalks her every move.

Beck who by and large is just as messed up with her self proclaimed daddy issues among a plethora of other issues to boot, plays Joe hot and cold throughout and seems to really enjoy having someone obsess over her in order for her to then in turn toy with them.

This would make a great movie as it is so utterly believable. Unfortunately it does not get a full 5 stars from me as i felt that some parts were dry and others dragged on a bit.

Things that were done well: The characters was probably the stand out feature for me, both leading man and lady were clearly defined and were realistic.Some parts were full of action and kept me up reading way past my bedtime. I brought this book everywhere with me whilst i was reading it even places such as work where i would never get the chance to read it, i just wanted to have it with me at all times, which is testament to how much i enjoyed it.

Things that werent done that well:Background characters and sub-plots, did i care about any other character that was not Joe or Beck? No, no i did not. Peach was so overly melodramatic and pretentious that i found myself skimming all the parts with her in it. The same goes for Ethan and Blythe, Chana and Lynn, i really couldnt have cared less. Also the ending felt a little rushed and ever so slightly predictable.

Overall: I have never read a book about a stalker from the stalkers point of view, so brownie points for originality. I cant help but compare this to other psychological thrillers that i have read such as the work of Gillian Flynn and The Girl on the Train that i read earlier this year. This can proudly take a place with these great works of fiction as it is just as powerfully written and compelling. I would highly recommend this book but it is not for the faint hearted, its a tough read in parts and has many many many sex scenes.

4 out of 5 stars. I shall patiently await the sequel.

Saturday, 19 September 2015

#24 Aristotle and Dante

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

This is a story of two Mexican teenage boys. Ari and Dante. The main protagonist is Ari and his personal struggles, in a way he is a philosopher just like his name sake, he is a loner who avoids his parents and sits in the desert staring at the stars and contemplating life. Dante is a poet who is open with his parents and his feelings. They are polar opposites but are also best friends.

This book has a lot of themes, LGBT, coming of age and finding yourself. The book doesn't really follow a plot per se its more a story of their friendship day to day and how they develop from boys into men. If you dont enjoy YA with LGBT themes this this book really wont be for you. The story was beautiful and the character development was wonderful. I really enjoyed the family aspect of this book, both boys have complex family lives in their own different ways. The best thing for me was getting a glimsp into Ari's head and his frame of mind surrounding certain situation.

Some parts of this book are difficult to read. The characters are real and the writing style is believable. Both boys parents played such a massive part of this story and i found that fascinating as it isnt  very prominent in YA novels.Each parent had their own personality and i enjoyed all their characters and the relationships to their son. I enjoyed Ari's family as it reminded me of my own, it often feels like we live our lives without talking much. I enjoyed how Ari's parents had flaws and struggles and how they were human too but also how their flaws and struggles affected their son. Dante's parents were so cute and what an amazing family unit they were. This was all about the family for me and not so much about the romance.

Dante is openly gay, this aspect becomes apparent when Dante and his family move to Chicago for a year and the boys have to communicate via letters. Dante falls for Ari and never hides his feelings, the boys struggle to remain friends as Ari does not feel the same way and struggles knowing that his best friend is in love with him.Dante is true to himself, open and an overall positive character.

Ari was my favourite character as i related to him and his outlook on live. He is someone who is quite negative but is so much more realistic as a teenager. I dont want to give too much away so i will leave it there but i highly urge you to read this.

4 out of 5 stars from me, really wish this was a duology!

Friday, 11 September 2015


Simon Vs The Homosapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Ive heard so many good things about this book since it came out in April of this year. Also the cover is really cool. Ok so the story centers on Simon and is told in alternate chapters, one chapter being Simon's every day life consisting of school, drama rehearsals, his friends and of course his family and the other is emails shared between Simon and Blue. Blue is a guy that Simon met online on Tumblr that goes to the same school but he has no idea of his real identity. When they begin to fall for each other via email things get more complicated and chaos ensues.

When Simon uses the school library to email Blue he forgets to log out (as you do) and a classmate then logs in to his emails and finds the correspondence between Simon and Blue. He then blackmails Simon in order to get closer to Abby who happens to be one of Simon's closest friends and if he doesnt help he will out him to the entire school.

Without spoiling too much the final third of this book was like an episode of Catfish in which you are guessing every single male character may or may not be Blue and to be honest most of my guesses were WAY off. I was really pleased when his identity was revealed and the way the author went about it. also loved the ending.

This was a cute and fun read. A great stand out YA novel that discusses LGBT issue. This was such a feel good story that i managed to devour in 2 sittings. It completely deerves all the hype surrounding it, This makes me wait and hope for more books by Becky Albertalli as this book really impressed me.

Solid 4.25 out of 5 stars.

Monday, 7 September 2015

#22 The Miniaturist

The Miniaturist By Jessie Burton

This was a cover buy for me, i dont cover buy often but i could resist how beautiful this book was. Upon reading the blurb i was pleasantly surprised as it was set in the 1600's and in Amsterdam, 2 of my goals this year were to read more European literature and to read more historical fiction so i hit the jackpot with this one!

This book centers around Nella a country girl who is married off to a rich businessman and must move to live with him in Amsterdam. Her husband is 39 year old Johannes who is a successful merchant. She arrives in Amsterdam and is greeted by Johannes sister Marin who is a strict and proud woman who is quick to exert her status within the home. She is also greeted by Cornelia and Otto the household servants.

When Johannes presents Nella with a doll house which is an exact replica of their home as a wedding gift, Nella seeks the help of a miniaturist in order to furnish the house. When said miniaturist begins to receive items that she does not order she becomes suspicious that the items are identical to their life size twins that are already present in the home. Nella becomes suspicious that someone may be spying on them. 

This book is so much than a simple story of a miniaturist, the story also sees Nella try to integrate and find her place within this home and society but also her struggle to connect with her new husband. Among a plethora of other issues such as religion and race. I was not expecting the twists that happened, i was expecting a light mystery but there was so many heart wrenching moments with a lot of secrets thrown in.

Nella as a protagonist was wonderful, she was not over exaggerated or head strong, the book clearly depicted how she became independent and learned how to stand up for herself. 

My main critique was how liberal some characters were which for the 17th century i felt was a tad unrealistic. I wanted to keep this as spoiler free as possible as there is a lot of twists packed in those 400 pages! All in all a 3.25 out of 5 stars from me. Beautiful and tragic. Also re read the first chapter when you finish, it makes so much more sense! 

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

#21 Monument 14, trilogy review

Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne

I first read Monument 14 last year and loved it, i never picked up the other 2 book until recently i saw them on Ebay for super cheap so i picked all 3 up and recently marathoned them whilst travelling back home to Ireland. I managed to read all 3 in 4 days, would have probably finished them much sooner but i had lots of things planned whilst being at home.

Ok so like i mentioned i read this in April 2014 and immediately fell in love with the story. I was worried about reading it again incase i didnt like it as much but im so glad that i was wrong. I initially picked this up as last year i discovered a deep love for dystopian and devoured everything in sight that fell even closely to that genre.

The story follows Dean and Alex brothers who whilst trying to make their way to school but are interrupted by the apocalypse. When their school bus crashes they are subjected to the compounds in the air which when inhaled affect people differently depending on their blood group. Type O's turn violent and will attack anyone or thing in sight, type B are affected by becoming infertile and type AB receive paranoid delusions.

The kids from the school bus ranging from age 5-17 seek shelter in a Greenway in their hometown of Monument, Colorado. There are 14 in total, hence the title of the book (which took me a long time to see the connection, duh Rachel!) A Greenway (for the non Americans) is a large supermarket, kind of like Macro or a really big Tesco. Anyway, the kids seek shelter there away from the compounds whilst their teacher goes to find help, thus leaving them with no adult supervision, every kids dream...

Lets go through some of the main characters with a few slightly spoilerish details...Dean who is 16 and type O, he results in being the main cook for the group and is by and large the main protagonist, Alex, who is Deans 13 yr old brother, definitely the smartest kid in the bunch which results in him building and fixing things, Astrid who is 17 and the apple of Dean's eye, Sahalia who is 13 and majorly annoying, Niko a boy scout who becomes the group leader, Henry and Caroline who are the youngest and most dependent they are 5 yr old twins, Ulysses who speaks next to no english and is around 8, Batiste who is about 9 and is majorly religious, Jake who is 17 and his best friend Brayden who see this end of the world as an opportunity to have a good time and Josie who is around 16 she mainly looks after the kids and Chloe another type O who is super annoying and is around 11 i think.

Basically after they get settled in the Greenway they form a little routine of cooking, cleaning and activities after a while the group realise they cannot stay there forever after a few outsiders inform that if they make it to the Denver airport that people are being evacuated, half the group decide to leave whilst Astrid, Dean and the twins and annoying Chloe stay behind mainly due to the Astrid, Dean and Chloe being type O. The other half take the school bus and attempt to make it to safety. Through a lot of effort and determination and sub plots in between they finally make it! Book 3 follows the group as they try to go back for Josie who went AWOL during book 2, she is being kept at a refugee camp which is more like some military concentration camp for type O's and Niko who has fallen madly in love with her has decided to rescue her.

One of the main themes of book 3 is race, this is something not many people think about when reading but when you are told the race of a certain character (i wont mention who) it changes the way you see that character within the story, it was refreshing as most YA dystopians have this kind of theme running through it.

The ending was... rather plain... im not sure what i was expecting dont get me wrong it was satisfying but it left me wanting more, i needed to know what happened a few months later, it left a gaping hole and i feel rather unsatisfied. The trilogy as a whole was a solid 4 stars for me, each book was action packed and i really enjoyed it, definitely rivals Divergent and The Hunger Games in my eyes!

#20 The Carrie Diaries

The Carrie Diaries By Candace Bushnell

Ok so i picked this up for the cover as lets face it... it.is.gorgeous! I also really liked the show and thought heck why not.

This follows Carrie Bradshaw, a character we all know and love (i cant even begin to tell you how many times ive re-watched SATC and both movies) so i jumped at the chance to read about Carrie before she made it to the big apple!

Im not going to lie i was hoping this would be fantastic but it massively let me down, maybe because there was no Miranda, Charlotte or Samantha so Lali, Maggie and Walt didnt really cut it. As i was reading it it just felt massively YA which i guess i should of expected as they are teenagers but it was a shock to my system. Sebastian was no Mr Big ill tell you that much! 

The plot was semi interesting, i found myself being really hooked in for 2 or 3 capters and then skimming the next few chapters. I eventually gave up about 270 pages which according to goodreads is about 60% or so. 

When i googled the book i found two interested tibits that i was not aware of 1) this is a series? god forbid what she has to write about next as this was so dull i dont see why anyone would want to read on... and 2) this has been made into a series! upon further research it actually looks really good and the guy who plays Sebastian is HOT and the girl who plays Carrie looks legit, might be worth checking out!

All in all, not my best book of the year so far! i ended up giving it a 2 star rating.