You have to hand it to Megan Abbott though. She knows people. The dynamic relationships in You Will Know Me are spot on. The (slightly) pushy but proud parents, the determined teen, the hopeful coach and spiteful parents all make for a read that really pulls you in.
The real beauty is in the easily overlooked details in her writing. A line or two here or there that makes you stop and do a double take. That makes you question your opinion of certain characters.
"She was the most dangerous thing in her own life. Her body, the only dangerous thing.”
The story is told from Katie's perspective. She tries to portray an image of strength, to be a pillar of support for Devon as she works her way towards a place in the Olympics but it's clear from the foreshadowing at the start that she is fragile. Constantly obsessing over Devon's childhood accident.
Other readers have said that they found Devon's brother Drew to be interesting but this is where the audiobook fell a little short for me. The narrator gave him a lisp. I found it slightly cringey and it often distracted me from his words-which turned out to be quite prophetic in the end.
Young girls often dominate Megan's books but here they mostly take a back seat. Everything we learn about Devon is leaked from her mothers thoughts and actions. It really worked here as the characters are so well developed. This book is about sacrifice and it's often the parents who need to make sacrifices for their children's dreams to become a reality. Katie thinks (as all parents do) that she knows Devon completely. It was very interesting to see this slowly unravel as the story progressed.
“That’s what parenthood was about, wasn’t it? Slowly understanding your child less and less until she wasn’t yours anymore but herself.”
As this was an audiobook it's hard to talk about the pacing but what I will say is that this book never bored me. It held my interest the whole way through.
I had put off rating this book for a while. On one hand it was really well written but on the other I found the story quite predictable. I think Megan Abbott has found a formula which works well for her. This leads to a satisfying read but ultimately, an ending that I saw coming from the first few chapters.
If you've never read a Megan Abbott book before then you'll more than likely love and rave about this. If you're a long time you'll probably still enjoy the dynamics even with the predictable ending. ...more
I found this book a real disappointment. I've read a lot of Liane Moriarty's books and I've really enjoyed most of them but this was such a let down.I found this book a real disappointment. I've read a lot of Liane Moriarty's books and I've really enjoyed most of them but this was such a let down. This read like a book that had not been seen by an editor. I just can't understand how some aspects of this book passed an editors eye.
A lot of the sentence structure was awkward and clunky. The characters were badly developed. They didn't really have distinct voices. The chapters were overly long and rambly. Constantly teasing the reader to push forward and then rewarding them with nothing get's old fast. Several times I thought we were going to find out more about this BBQ but each time she finally got back to it, it turned out to be nothing. After the halfway mark I just got sick of it. It became a chore to read.
I'm a long time Moriarty fan but she really missed the boat with this one.
I loved this! I didn't think I would but the artwork was just so stunning it didn't need words! A fantastic display of pride life and the dance betweeI loved this! I didn't think I would but the artwork was just so stunning it didn't need words! A fantastic display of pride life and the dance between predator and prey. ...more
I've often said that Gillian Flynn is the queen of the opening paragraph. Well Liz Nugent is the Queen of the opening line. Because who needs a whole paragraph? That's sooo two years ago.
I'm very stingy when it comes to giving books five stars but this is the easiest five stars I've ever given.
I'm not one for nice characters. To be honest, I find good law abiding citizens in books rather boring. I'd much rather hate -love a character than admire them. Even though there is something to be admired in Lydia's deviousness. She's almost like a lioness protecting her cub. If that lioness was mentally unstable that is.
She spends the majority of the book manipulating everyone else around her. She manipulated her husband into this deal with Annie and now she manipulates Laurence into keeping her terrible secret. Laurence in turn then uses this to keep Annie's sister in his life. It's a vicious circle.
I've seen a lot of sympathy for Laurence amongst reviewers but I felt none for him. I loved Lydia's character but the subtle deviousness in Laurence is so well written that it's almost hard to spot. Liz Nugent winds reader around her little finger, almost begging the reader to feel sorry for this poor overweight boy who has to deal with his poor overbearing mother. The reality is that he was just as devious as his mother. The apple never falls far from the tree. The fact that Liz could weave this into his character but still have him be somewhat likable is a testament to her skill as a writer.
While reading Lying in Wait you'll find yourself slotting characters into 'Good' and 'Bad' boxes. You'll be prepared to feel a certain way about every character before every pre-conceived notion comes crashing down with the turn of a page. Nothing is certain in this book. And I loved that.
The chapters in Lying in Wait are short and snappy. This made it almost impossible to put down as the end of chapter teases you into turning the page and starting the next until you've realised that it's five hours later, the dinner is burned and no shopping has been done. Thanks Liz....more
This certainly wasn't what I expected it was going to be. It started off really well. Joanna's husband is a monster and you can feel the tension dripThis certainly wasn't what I expected it was going to be. It started off really well. Joanna's husband is a monster and you can feel the tension drip off the page. He really was a scary character and I don't think he was in this novel enough.
Like I sad the start really gripped me but then there is a twist at around 30% mark. It was a really surprising twist and that spurred me to read on. However after that mark it really slowed down and then it got repetitive. It's hard to talk about this part of the book without spoiling. While it was "nice" I also found it a little boring and I think this section could have been shorter.
The pace picked up again at the end I felt gripped to it for a little bit again but then the ending fell short for me.
I think this was just a taste issue. It's certainly not a badly written book but it is certainly for readers who like a slower novel focused on life choices....more
I don't like Annabel. But that's OK. I don't think we're supposed to. We all have an Annabel inside us. That nagging voice that tells us we're never good enough, never thin enough, never smart enough. We all have our own Annabel in need of silencing.
Annabel doesn't want to be described as a guardian angel. She's more of a spirit guide who's been chosen to guide Julia, a school girl with dreams of becoming a journalist. The only difference is Annabel
From the start Annabel only seems concerned with Julia's physical appearance. She is sure this is why she has been sent to help. To rid this girl of her rolls and curves. And who better to help than a girl who was an expert in hiding. Hiding food, hiding her weight hiding the truth about the illness that killed her. But it's OK. Now she has the chance to make it all OK by "fixing" Julia.
“Boys don't go for fat girls. They talk about wanting 'real women', but what they mean is big tits. Not thighs, not bellies, not fat bums. They want skin and bone.”
Annabel drives her own thoughts into Julia's head. She must be thin. She must say no. That is the only way she can succeed.
“Every time you say ‘no thank you’ to food, you say ‘yes please’ to skinny.”
I like the way Claire handled the many pressures girls face in school: Grades, boys, sex, body image. There is a dangerous misconception that anorexia and bulimia are caused by images in magazines. These issues are mental and the physical manifestations (starving, binging purging) are a result of this. They are not the cause.
I didn't really warm to Annabel at any point, but again I'm not sure if the reader was supposed to. The most important message is that Annabel finally started to realise that Julia's weight problems were not just physical, but mental too. She helps her to overcome her demons and to deal with the people who have wronged her.
The book is not a roller coaster ride. You won't be on the edge of your seat but it will make you sit back and think, and that's never a bad thing. ...more
"I’m not being stupid, I’m being an arse. I’m being a brat. It’s hard to stop once I start."
I've closed the final page on Nina is not OK and there are so many things Im feeling and so many things that I want to say that it's almost overwhelming.
I want to talk about everything in this book but I can't because I would never want to spoil this amazing piece work for anyone else.
First of all, please don't be discouraged by the first few pages. The writing style is conversational, from the point of a 17 year old girl called Nina. It took me a couple of pages to settle in but once I did there was no going back.
I went through such a rang of emotions while reading this: shock at Nina's self destructive behavior. I smiled at her humor. I admired her friend Beth and the powerful positive effect she had on Beth's life. I felt such anger, both for her and towards her at various points.
‘You’re supposed to be a feminist, Beth!’ ‘I am, doesn’t mean I have to think everything you do is OK. It’s not OK because you don’t feel OK about it.’
Like Asking for It by Louise O Neill, Nina is not OK delivers powerful messages on alcoholism, sex and slut shaming. All topics that highly relevant right now.
Nina realises that it sometimes takes the people around you to face you and tell you, no you are not OK. You have a problem. You need help. Like most people Nina denies that anything is really wrong until her entire world comes crashing down around her.
"I’m a different person when I’m drinking. Sounds mad, because it clearly is me, but it’s not me. I want to stop. I want to be able to just drink normally and have fun."
She begins to realise she is not just another teen whose had a few too many on a night out. She wakes up to the fact that she is caught in cyclone of destructive behavior.
But does that mean the world will turn on its axis to suit is just because we sort ourselves out? No?
"Booze sits its arse down in your life, pretends to be your friend, then trips you up, kicks you and throws rocks at you. You push it away; it runs back at you harder and knocks you over. You barricade your door against it, and it’ll climb in through the window. If you promise yourself you won’t drink, it’ll laugh at your promise, drag you screaming to the ground and batter you unconscious."
Trouble was like a domino effect when it involved Nina. But it took such bravery for her to face and tame her 'dragons.'
Shappi Khorsandi should be extremely proud of this book. She didn't just emulate the teen experience she utterly embodied it in this book. The writing is raw, honest and utterly gripping. It's been one of my favorites of 2016 so far.
I look forward to reading more from this author....more
While I was reading this book I participated in a Twead, which is a read along on twitter and absolutely loved hearing what other readers had to say about this book.
The Last Days of Summer is certainly a book that requires an investment. It will require your time and all your attention. This will not be a book you can just sit down and fly through. Some will love this, others will not. The pace is quite slow meaning if you really want to absorb all of the beautifully descriptive details then you have to avoid the want to skim.
I usually don't mind a slow paced book but I found it a little hard to avoid being bogged down by the detail. I think it's because I've been reading a lot of fast paced thrillers lately and it took a while to adjust.
I found The Last days of summer so atmospheric and I was really drawn into the small town gossip that can utterly destroy a persons soul. I was totally taken in by Jasper and the mystery surrounding his prison sentence.
This book was a stunning piece of work that fans of literary fiction will devour with delight!...more
I wasn't heading into Fiona's book blind. I'd read and thoroughly enjoyed Orla's Code (even if I didn't understand some of the coding jargon).
Saying that, Beverly surprised me. It was different to Orla's code. And that's not necessarily a bad thing. With Beverly Fiona seems to have really honed her character building skills. A few words came to mind after I'd read this book: real, authentic and flawed.
I love an author that takes on difficulties that many people deal with in their everyday lives. Beverly has a stutter but rather than deal with it she adapts ways to side step words she finds difficult and completely avoids an situation that might lead to her speaking publicly. She rely's on her friend Ella to use her charms to get her through difficult situations.
There is real authenticity in the writing. I'm not sure if Fiona her self suffers from a speech impediment but either way she clearly thoroughly researched the subject prior to writing. That much is obvious. I could feel myself holding my breath with Beverly every time she struggled to say a certain word.
Lots of writers can do 'flawed' but many don't pull it off as convincingly as Fiona does. There is often this perceived notion that a disability comes with a shy 'lovely' personality. Not always. Frankly, Beverly is a bit of a bitch, she loves to party and she loves sex just as much as any other girl. She loves her boyfriend and is willing to do anything to make sure that she remains his favorite.
I loved all of the above but I loved Beverly's development most of all. She learns that actions have consequences and that people won't always make allowances for you; no matter how much you think you deserve it. Sometimes you can't turn the clock back. You just have to deal with it and move forward.
I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a character driven novel. With Beverly. Fiona's unique voice has shone through again.
Loved this book! I read it slowly to eek out the pleasure for as long as possible. I love sit down in the evenings, put my phone on silent and get losLoved this book! I read it slowly to eek out the pleasure for as long as possible. I love sit down in the evenings, put my phone on silent and get lost in the world of celebrity stylist.
Amber is thrown into this world by a happy accident (although she'll never admit the accident part) after Mona Armstrong visits the boutique she works at. One minute shes a shop assitant and the next she's thrust into her dream jobs (the one that a million girls wanted!)
Or is she? It doesn't take her long to figure out that being on the receiving end of Mona's demands isn't as fun as she first thought it might. There. There are definite nods to The Devil Wears Prada in The stylist. Like Miranda, Mona is an aggressive control freak who gets what she wants by barking at everyone around her.
Rosie really get's across the pressure that these assistants are under during awards season. You can tell she's probably seen it all first hand and that makes it all the more fun to read.
The book is paced really well. I never found myself skimming or zoning out. I wanted to take in every little detail. Reading The Stylist was just a really enjoyable experience.
A must read for Shopaholic and The Devil Wears Prada fans. ...more
I really really loved Guns and Dogs. I loved that Tuvan tackled the issues of teen depression and suicidal thoughts. So many books shy away from theseI really really loved Guns and Dogs. I loved that Tuvan tackled the issues of teen depression and suicidal thoughts. So many books shy away from these subjects even though many, many teens suffer with these problems.
Along with not having a father in his life Johnny has to deal with girlfriend problems and a budding writing career that just refuses to take off.
His saviour and mentor comes in the form of Argos better; an agent who introduces Johnny to things he never thought possible. I enjoyed seeing them bond as the novel progressed.
As much as I loved the human characters, the dobermans Jessie and Studs really stole my heart. I'm a huge dog lover and I don't think we see enough animal side kicks in books. They're bravery and loyalty really makes the book shine.
Guns and Dogs is paced well and never bores the reader. We are constantly introduced to new creatures and technologies that will grasp the attention of any YA / Scifi fan. History buffs will also enjoy the time travel sections and the wonderful cameo appearances that are cleverly woven into the novel.
I would have no hesitation in recommending Guns and Dogs to anyone as it crosses many genres and refuses to restrict itself....more
What a great read! I should start by saying I have not read the other books in the series but this certainly holds it's own as a stand alone novel. PeWhat a great read! I should start by saying I have not read the other books in the series but this certainly holds it's own as a stand alone novel. Perfect for all science fiction fans young and old.
It tells the story of the evil Slow Fly and his plan to take over Mars. Standing in his way are the formidable Liberty Rise and her team. Their job is to stop slow fly from gaining control of the Mekaneks, advanced fighter robots that were originally designed to protect the planet.
I loved all the characters in this the book. The writing made them very relatable and authentic. The pace is steady for most of the book but heats up after the halfway mark with some great action between the waring machines.
Wow this took me an age to get through. It's one of those novels that time jumps a lot. I read it at a busy time of year and I think this affected my enjoyment of it. I'm not a huge fan of novels that time jump anyway but I found myself constantly flicking back and forth to remind myself of what happened when.
The first chapter is really gripping and I can see why it won an award but I felt that the rest of novel failed to reach that level of suspense again. It trundled along and even though I couldn't say it was boring it still didn't really grip me enough to give me the urge to pick it up again after I had put it down.
I looked forward to reading John's chapters the most but as the book went on I found that his personality was a little diluted. I think I would have preferred him to be a little bitter about everything as it would have been more interesting to read and would have added some much needed suspense.
I know this review may seem negative but I actually did enjoy reading this and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to someone who doesn't mind a slower paced read. ...more
This was disappointing. You know when a book has been on your "to read" list for yeeeeeaaars and then you finally get around it? Well this was one of those books but I don't think it lived up to the hype.
It's post apocalyptic but really it's post POST apocalyptic. The out break has already happened and zombies are just a fact of life now. This fact means that Feed is not your run of the mill zombie book and for a lot of people that won't be a good thing.
There are no hoards of zombies chasing down our protagonists (who are for the most part, irritating). No imminent fear of death. No real mass shoot outs. In fact there's not much of anything. I get that this book is part of a series and I can forgive a certain amount but I can't forgive the almost non existent plot line. Nothing happens for the first 60% of this book.
The constant droning on about feeds and streams and views got tiring after a while. Hell. I'm a blogger myself and even I had enough after a while. I did however enjoy the scientific parts. I have an interest in epidemiology and I could tell the author was knowledgeable in her field.
Then when something finally does happen it's so predicable that it was almost meaningless. I didn't feel a connection to any of the characters and while the ending somewhat redeemed things it didn't make this a worthwhile read.
I'm still undecided as to whether I'll continue with the series. Maybe the next one will be a bit more exciting. ...more
I was a little disappointed with this book. I just expected more, a more in depth study of trolling. I would have loved to read something I could really get my teeth into. Something delving into the psyche of those who feel the need to constantly ridicule others online while hiding behind anonymous profiles.
I thought this book would get to the heart of the issue and really explore the whys. Why do men feel the need to use sexual remarks when having an argument with the opposite sex online? Why is it when a girl is raped and the images are posted on line she is a slut and the men are almost pitied because they had such "bright futures"? I felt like this book didn't really try to answer or even investigate the real issues behind such behavior.
It was a short repetitive read:
This happened. It was really bad. It shouldn't have happened. That happened. It was really bad. It shouldn't have happened.
Rinse and repeat.
Most of the stories are ones that you'll remember from the news. It just replays what happened and leaves it at that. So yes it can be hard to be a woman online but this book doesn't really delve into why that is which led to my 2 star rating. ...more
I was really looking for something to get me in the Christmas mood ( yeah I know it's November but I don't care) after having a hard year and even looI was really looking for something to get me in the Christmas mood ( yeah I know it's November but I don't care) after having a hard year and even looking at the cover makes me smile.
Maggie and Marco come from completely different worlds. He's a handsome American hunk and she's a single mum running her own business in the UK.
The world literally collide one day when Marco crashes into Maggie while out cycling. Marco ends up on the loosing end and winds up in hospital with more than his ego battered. Maggie feels a connection to this handsome stranger and even though she has reserves she agree's to look after him while his family are away.
I just loved the characters in the book. I took a real shine to Maggie and her daughter. They were just really down to earth and relate-able. So much so that I really got into this book and managed to finish it in two sittings because the plot flowed really well!
People sometimes pass over books like this because they don't delve deep into the themes within but sometimes you just need a little bit of magic and romance! I loved watching the relationship between Maggie and Marco develop.
This would be a perfect book to read while sitting by the christmas tree with a glass of mulled wine in hand. Really enjoyable!...more
I didn't stop giving hand jobs because I wasn't good at it. I stopped giving hand jobs because I was the best at it.
Gillian Flynn really knows how to write an opening line! She really is the master of the first hook line. Every one of her books has really drawn me in from the first sentence!
The Grownup originally appeared in an anthology by G.R.R Martin called Rogues. Some other reviewers are a little peed off with this being published again considering it is so short. I'm glad it was published again because I don't think I'd have known it existed otherwise!
The Grownup was a really creepy, atmospheric read. The narrator is an unnamed con woman peddling her various "talents!" One day a woman asks for her help. She is convinced her house is haunted and that it needs to be cleansed. Our con woman agrees without really knowing what she is letting herself in for.
In true Flynn form what follows is a path of twists and turns. Who is telling the truth? Who is the liar here and who is the one who is actually being manipulated?
I read this in the dark of my room one night and it gave me genuine chills. I just wish it was a full length novel! ...more
It's Christmas and we're back on Roone for a third time. I will never ever tire of reading about Roone and it's inhabitants. The magic of this Island seems to just seep through every single page and it has really captured my heart!
Christmas is a stressful time anyway but with 5 kids and a mother in law Laura is really finding it hard. I really enjoyed reading the story from Laura's point of view. We were so used to Nell (whom I also loved) so this was a breathe of frosty Christmas air!
As snarky as Laura's mother in law was I actually loved that she was in this story. She waltzes around in a Hyacinth Bucket (it's bouquet!) fashion making demands and complaining even when her every whim was met! She was a real character and she gave the story a bit of an edge.
On the far side of the world Tilly is boarding a plane hoping to find a sister she's never met and who has no idea she's coming. I really felt for Tilly. She just feels lost, like she doesn't belong anywhere and she hopes that this journey will allow her to find herself.
The story moves back and forth between between the two and the pace slowly builds as the two come closer and closer to meeting. I actually held my breathe my breathe the first time Tilly knocks on the door at Roone.
This was such an immersive story that is full of the lovable unforgettable characters that Roisin always seems be able to create. This book regularly kept me reading till the late hours of the morning. I felt it really captured Ireland and the warmth of our hospitality.
Even though this is the third book set on Roone it could easily be read as a stand alone. Little details are slipped in here and there to give you history of Roone's delightful inhabitants!
As always I highly recommend this book. It highlights the importance of family and friends. Especially at this festive time of year....more
I have to admit that I almost gave up on this book. It's certainly a slow burner and it doesn't really start to move until about 100 pages in and it sI have to admit that I almost gave up on this book. It's certainly a slow burner and it doesn't really start to move until about 100 pages in and it starts to get interesting at around 150 pages.
I did enjoy the almost voyeuristic nature of the book. It's a peek into a world most of us will never see. I really felt like I was discovering this strange new world with Thomas. The characters are intriguing but the most interesting ones didn't appear in the story enough in my opinion. I would have loved a little more scandal, just to make the book a little more exciting.
As for Matilda. I didn't find her quite as mysterious as I probably should have and I couldn't really relate to Thomas' obsession with her. Her naivety obviously appealed to him but it seemed more of an older brother and sister relationship.
As I said earlier it does get going a little around the middle but it never really takes off. In fact it slows down again and the plot line becomes a bit predictable.
The ending, again was not really surprising and fell flat for me. For me this would be one to borrow at the library. I can't see it it sticking around as a memorable book of 2015 unfortunately. ...more