Review: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

IMG_9661[1]Sometimes I just get a real craving for a certain kind of read. Last week I was after the cosy familiarity of a great classic piece of literature. This week I was craving some really good quality YA fiction. I do really enjoy YA but sometimes I feel that I’ve outgrown it a bit and I don’t pick it up as much. Having said that the YA market is booming at the moment and there are some really great reads to be had, so I still enjoying dipping into the genre as much as I can.

I recently went and bought myself a copy of The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. This came out last year and was a massive hit across the different bookish communities, providing a really relevant exploration of the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement.  It’s had such an impact that the film adaptation is actually coming out soon so I knew I had to get to it before then.

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Review: Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray

IMG_9646[1]As soon as the weather gets colder I begin to crave everything that is comfy and cosy. Thick woolly jumpers, warm stodgy food, and of course, a truly cosy read. For me personally a cosy read is usually something dark and Gothic (a bit strange I know), or a classic novel that I can get completely lost in. As it’s not quite cold enough yet I wasn’t completely in the mood for a darker read, but I was most definitely eager to tick another classic off my TBR. With the recent TV adaptation of Vanity Fair my choice seemed fairly easy!

Vanity Fair is of course written by the famous William Makepeace Thackeray, and in all honesty it is an absolute beast of a book! I read the Penguin English Library edition which came in at just under 900 pages, so this is definitely not one for the faint hearted!

Set against the backdrop of nineteenth century Europe and the Napoleonic War, Vanity Fair focuses primarily on the character of two school friends as they make their way into society. Firstly we have Amelia Sedley, a friendly if somewhat naive young woman with all of the advantages which her father’s wealth can bring. The novel then contrasts with the figure of Becky Sharp, a cunning and ambitious woman with no wealthy relatives to aid her progression in society. Across the novel we follow both of these women and the friends they make as they work their way through society, with everything from love, betrayal scandal and social climbing to contest with.

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Review: Dogs of Courage by Clare Campbell

IMG_9624[1]I’ve read and reviewed a fair few dog related books in my time, with the non-fiction genre which focuses quite specifically upon service and military dogs being a particular favourite of mine. I’m dog obsessed, and although its often an emotional reading experience I still love delving into real tales of dog heroics and the sheer amazing talents and heart that dogs have. They’re such faithful and courageous creatures, and I feel that books such as this really go a long way to highlighting their importance in our lives.

My mum actually bought me one such book for Christmas last year, and fancying something a bit different to the usual fiction I’ve been reading, I decided to pick this one up. Written by Clare Campbell, Dogs of Courage: When Britain’s Pets Went to War 1939-45, does exactly what the title suggests. Throughout this book we learn not only what different dogs did in the war, but how they actually become involved in it in the first place, documenting the vast difficulties and obstacles they had to overcome along the way. This is not just a book describing the heroics of dogs picked up along the way of the war, but the untold story of the multitude of family pets which were sent to do their bit for the war effort too.

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Reading Wrap Up – August 2018

IMG_9591[1]As I’m writing this I can’t quite believe that August is over and we’ve already moved into September! The year is flying by and although the speed is slightly scary I am ridiculously excited for the cosy winter jumpers! But before I get carried away by the chill in the air and the thought of copious amounts of wool, I want to share with you all the books I read in the month of August.

Altogether I read nine books across August, which I’m very happy with. There was a real mixture of different types, including a play, non-fiction, YA and some Man Booker Longlisted books. Likewise, my ratings were pretty mixed as well, with some books which left me more disappointed than others. Without further ado, here are the books in the order I read them!

Review: Villette by Charlotte Brontë

IMG_9597[1]When you think of classic Literature there are a few books which might quickly come to mind; Wuthering Heights, Pride and Prejudice, Great Expectations and Dracula to name just a few of my favourites. Yet there is another book which is always on these kinds of lists and is pretty synonymous with great classic literature. I’m talking, of course, about Jane Eyre. Undoubtedly Charlotte Brontë’s most iconic novel, it’s one of those books that is loved by many and continually recommended (with good reason!) I’m a massive fan of the book myself, and indeed of all of the Brontë sisters as a whole.

I’ve had Villette, another of Charlotte’s novels, sat on my shelf for a good few years now, and looking at it is always a guilt inducing experience. When I recently found myself massively in the mood to pick up another classic, I decided to bite the bullet and at long last get stuck in. Her third and last novel, Villette follows the protagonist of Lucy Snowe. After an unspecified family disaster which leaves Lucy fending for herself, she leaves her native England to travel to France, looking for a fresh start. It is in the city of Villette that she finds work at a French girl’s school, eventually becoming employed as a teacher there. Across the novel we follows Lucy as she encounters new faces, becoming drawn into potential romances and different circumstances which will test her.

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Review: Snap by Belinda Bauer

IMG_9571[1]So, fairly recently I read my first book from this year’s Man Booker longlist. Whilst I enjoyed The Mars Room, it didn’t thrill me and completely amaze me like I wanted it too. For my second read I decided to pick up the book I was probably the most excited and also nervous to read; Snap. It’s not often that a genre novel, especially a crime/thriller one, is longlisted for what is pretty much a prize dominated by big names and quite intense literary fiction. Everyone knows that I’m a massive fan of crime and thriller novels, so understandably I could take the anticipation no more!

The novel opens in the past, with a vehicle broken down on the hard shoulder of the M4. The mother has gone to find help, leaving her three children in the car with the stern instructions not to go anywhere and to stay where they are safe. But she never returns, and that is the last the kids will ever see of their mother. Years later the oldest sibling, Jack, is in charge, taking drastic measure to ensure his younger sisters are safe and they can stay together. Yet the past is always present, and when Jack stumbles upon something frightening he has to take the lead once more to prove the truth.

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