After finishing a brilliantly written (and truly unputdownable) novel about two weeks ago, I was at a loss as to what I should pick up next. I knew itAfter finishing a brilliantly written (and truly unputdownable) novel about two weeks ago, I was at a loss as to what I should pick up next. I knew it would be hard to find something that would be as good as my previous read, and thanks to my book hangover, I couldn’t seem to settle on anything. I picked up a few different genres but nothing could match the sheer brilliance of the book I’ve just finished, so I gave up after a few pages. That’s when I decided to have a quick browse on NetGalley to see if they have any short stories or graphic novels, and came across Blue Bottle Mystery.
I’m still relatively new to the world of graphic novels and manga, but when one of my friends lent me some of hers a couple of months ago, I got hooked right away. So when I came across Hoopman’s novel, I knew it would be a nice and quick read, perfect for the occasion.
To be frank, I wasn’t familiar with the original novel before I started reading this, so I had no idea what to expect – but I was intrigued by the concept and was curious to see how the author would tackle the issue of Asperger Syndrome, especially in a graphic novel form.
Even though I like my books to be on the dark side, I rarely find myself reading horror – but Say Her Name was a book I was really looking forward to.Even though I like my books to be on the dark side, I rarely find myself reading horror – but Say Her Name was a book I was really looking forward to. I loved Dawson’s previous novel, Cruel Summer (a story that kept me on the edge of my seat until the very last page), and I’ve heard some brilliant things about this book as well, so my expectations were pretty high. Unfortunately, though, I was a bit disappointed.
The author chose a brilliant setting for a creepy horror story – a lonely boarding school on the top of a cliff, with its dark corridors and secret passages. There were ghosts in mirrors, graveyards, blood. Everything was given for a perfectly haunting story – yet I didn’t enjoy it as much as I expected.
In a nutshell, it’s an okay book. I liked the concept and was really curious to see how it would end, whether they would survive, what would happen to Mary. The ending, I think, was clever, and I didn’t mind the fact that it was left quite open. In fact, the ending was probably the highlight for me.
On the other hand, I didn’t find it creepy at all. I was intrigued at times, yes, but I never once felt like I wouldn’t be able to look in a mirror or sleep with the lights off which, judging by fellow bloggers’ reactions, is what I should have experienced. I don’t know if it’s because I’m used to gorier and creepier stuff (I read an awful lot of thrillers, after all) or because the story just… wasn’t scary enough – I honestly don’t know. All I know is that it didn’t faze me at all.
In a Dark, Dark Wood is one of those books that, when you’re not reading it, you’ll be thinking about it. It’s seriously addictive. I picked it up onIn a Dark, Dark Wood is one of those books that, when you’re not reading it, you’ll be thinking about it. It’s seriously addictive. I picked it up on a rainy Saturday morning and found myself, hours later, still glued to the page, not wanting to put it down. I had really high expectations for this one and it didn’t disappoint – I loved every (deliciously sinister) second of it.
Ruth Ware created a brilliant setting for a mystery: it’s winter, with chilly weather, darkness and mud. Lots of it. We’re in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by a dark and menacing forest on all sides. There aren’t any neighbours and you can go miles before you hit a road or see anyone else. Most of the time there’s no reception, unless you want to brave the cold and climb to the top of the hill near the house. Everything is given for a perfectly haunting and spine-chilling story, and you know for a fact that this is definitely not going to end well.
I fell in love with the idea behind Lisa Drakeford’s debute the minute I saw the book and once my copy landed on my desk, it went straight to the topI fell in love with the idea behind Lisa Drakeford’s debute the minute I saw the book and once my copy landed on my desk, it went straight to the top of my reading list. Teenage pregnancy – and especially teenage parenthood – is a hugely important issue which, I think, doesn’t get the attention it should in YA literature.
Interestingly, and unlike the very few other novels I’ve seen and read so far, The Baby focuses on parenthood and not the pregnancy itself. It explores how Nicola and the dad deal with new-found parenthood and how the dynamics change among their group of friends after the baby is born, which really intrigued me. It also touches upon, however briefly, the subject of domestic violence and bullying, two equally significant topics that don’t get mentioned enough. I have to applaud Drakeford for bringing such important subjects to the attention of younger readers and dealing with them in such a delicate way.
Understandably, I had really high hopes for this novel but, unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I hoped I would.
I keep saying this – and I’m sure I’ll say it again – but depression and mental illness are not easy subjects to tackle. It’s not an easy thing to dig
I keep saying this – and I’m sure I’ll say it again – but depression and mental illness are not easy subjects to tackle. It’s not an easy thing to digest as a reader, but it’s even more difficult to write about these issues in a genuine and original way. However, David Owen did a fantastic job with his debut and Panther is just as brilliant and thought-provoking as I hoped it would be.
The story starts in a dark alleyway behind Derrick’s house where he’s eating stale, days old cookies out of a dustbin. Two paragraphs in, and I’m already hooked. It’s a bold yet perfectly eye-opening start, and you cannot help but wonder how things got this bad and what on earth drove Derrick to eat sodden cookies out of a bin for the past few months.
The rest of the story is just as captivating as the beginning and I’m not exaggerating when I say I read it in one sitting. In the following 22 chapters, we get a glimpse of how his sister’s depression affects Derrick’s family and everyone around them, how helpless and out of control they feel, and how each of them cope – or rather fail to cope – with Charlotte’s illness. I loved the fact that we heard the story from Derrick’s perspective rather than Charlotte’s, as I felt it made the story even more unique (and even more heartbreaking, if that’s possible).
I've been intrigued by Normal since the minute I read the blurb and, after hearing some amazing things about it from fellow bloggers, I couldn’t waitI've been intrigued by Normal since the minute I read the blurb and, after hearing some amazing things about it from fellow bloggers, I couldn’t wait to pick it up. It was one of the books I was looking forward to reading the most this spring and I was really, really hoping it wouldn’t disappoint.
I LOVED the idea of being able to get inside the killer’s head and hearing the story from his perspective. Thrillers are one of my favourite genres but I rarely get to read books like that and I was really curious how Cameron would make it work.
I started reading the book while waiting for my flight back to the UK after a short holiday and was completely gripped by the first few chapters. I literally flew through the first hundred pages, frantically turning the pages and trying to make sense of what was happening or why this guy was doing this to his victims. I couldn’t stop raving about it on social media and was almost certain it would turn out to be one of the most chilling thrillers I’ve read in 2015.
It was all going well until I hit the 50% mark. From then on, it all kind of went downhill for me, for a number of reasons. One of them – and probably my biggest issue – is the fact that I just felt like the writer was trying way too hard to create a likeable character, a charming killer. The stories about helping a lost girl find his mum, helping the Girl Guides and buying flowers for a random girl he’s never met were just the icing on the cake. At this point I was already frustrated, but I felt like the story could have been much better without the ‘likeable anti-hero’ theme. This aspect didn’t work for me at all, not even at the beginning – although it might be a subjective thing.