The Silent Companions

the silent companions

First of all, as always, I would like to thank netgalley and Penguin Books for the early copy (although I am only reviewing it nearly three months after its release) of this book in exchange for an honest review. It is always appreciated.  

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you are all well and that you enjoyed the festivities. If you didn’t know, I’ve been away for a while, yes…sad, I know. As you will all know by now (from my constant excuses), I moved to Sweden in August and it took me a while to settle in. Whilst I was settling, I decided to re-read the Harry Potter books as there is no better thing to do than read J.K. Rowling’s works of art and magic when you are not feeling yourself. I’ve now leaped into 2018 with a positive attitude and a readiness for some good books! May 2018 treat us all extremely well!

Okay, you guys, normally I tell you there will be spoilers but seriously, SPOILER ALERT, I will be spoiling quite a few things here!! You’ve been warned.

The Story: 

Only a few weeks after they are wed, Elsie Bainbridge’s husband dies unexpectedly. Pregnant and in mourning, Elsie is sent away from London to her late husband’s country estate, The Bridge; a life far away from the luxury she had been expecting. The estate has a weird feeling about it. The servants barely speak and seem to resent her presence, whilst the villagers are seemingly hostile after hearing mysterious rumours about the place. Elsie only has Sarah, her husband’s cousin, for company. Soon things start to go bump in the night and Elsie is confused by the presence of sawdust and the sound of a saw through the night. Intrigued, Sarah and Elsie venture through a locked door only to find some mysterious diaries by a woman named Anne Bainbridge, and a striking wooden figure named – yep, you guessed it – silent companions. Elsie brings the silent companion down but soon finds that they are starting to appear everywhere. More and more appear and some bear striking resemblance to people of the past. The companions seem to move and something isn’t quite right about them.

Chapters alternate between the 1800’s, when Elsie and co, live in the house, an insane asylum, and the 1600’s, the date from the diaries. These chapters slowly but surely reveal all.

The Review: 

This was a great book to start 2018 with. What is better than a good, old, Gothic ghost story when it is dreary and cold, and the January blues are upon you? It is the classic tale of a woman, shipped off to the countryside only to find that her servants are not who they say they are and her house is not what she expected it to be. I could not put it down. It was dark and twisted at times, making you want to read more. You get to the end of one chapter and you just cannot stop, you need to know what happens in the corresponding chapter. It is a very quick read so if you are looking for one of those, this book is a good choice. I would not say this is a holiday read as it is quite eerie and gloomy!

Firstly, the idea of this book is superb – wooden figures that seem to move and watch you, hunting you down as you walk through your own house. Splinters and sawdust appear everywhere, including under the skin, and in the dead bodies. *Shivers* It gives me the creeps and so it should, that’s the whole idea. The story isn’t your typical ghost story, witchcraft is involved and you are constantly guessing what is possessing the silent companions. It’s creepy and I love it!

A few irks that got me; The dead bodies. There are A LOT of those. I just finished IT by Stephen King after Christmas and this book has just as many dead bodies as IT does (okay, exaggeration but shh.. it has a lot of dead people, okay?!). I was actually a little annoyed that so many people died, especially any that just happened ‘off-page’ where we hear about it from another character. That was disappointing, I didn’t think it was that type of book really. Some of the deaths seemed quite rushed and they felt as if they were just thrown in for a quick shock – the death of the baby and Mabel, for example. Others were spectacular – Helen. A antler pierced her eye! I was so not expecting that!

I was deeply disturbed by the animal deaths in this book. I don’t know if any of you know this about me (maybe I have mentioned this) but I am an animal fanatic and I really need a trigger warning for animal death or animal cruelty. It affects me more than most other things in novels. I know that is bad to say because of human suffering and stuff but I feel like television has desensitized me to that stuff – it does not mean that I do not care or wish to prevent social injustice and other issues – it just means that I can read it without flying into a frenzy of panic and upset. It’s weird – please don’t hate me. But yeah, cow head was unnecessary. The dead horse I get was a catalyst for events from the diaries but the cow head… really?! I was so worried the cat was going to die too!

Now the witchcraft storyline was interesting and definitely explained a bit about what was happening in the 1600’s storyline but it just was not utilised enough for me. It did not explain why the shop that sold the companions disappeared or why the companions were so weird even before the witch/spirit possessed them. There were a few plot holes appearing from this addition. I do not know how this could have been fixed but it was a thought throughout the book and I said I should be honest about it!

On a positive and final note; This book was beautifully written. Laura Purcell has a way with words; she really does. Some parts felt a little rushed – as if she needed to pack too much in – but some of the descriptions and the atmosphere she creates is great. She can be a little confusing sometimes as you do not realise what is going on. Purcell is one of these authors that has you work out that someone has died before telling you and having you witness the scene. Personally, I love that. I think she is a very good Gothic writer and she stick to that genre. I know she is working on another called The Corset so hopefully we will see that in 2018!

I have given this book 4 stars. It wasn’t entirely perfect and that is why it didn’t get a 5th star, and I can say I wouldn’t read it again but it is definitely going on a highly recommended shelf.


Undercover Princess

undercover princess

First of all, I would like to thank Netgalley and Penguin Random House UK for an early copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

The story: 

Fairy-tale obsessed Lottie Pumpkin has worked tirelessly to be accepted into the prestigious school, Rosewood Hall. When  accepted, she is beyond thrilled but little does she know, secrets and betrayal await her in the magical halls. First of all, her roommate is revealed to be the crown princess of Maradova, Ellie Wolf, who is attempting to live a normal, crown-free, teenage life. Secondly, Lottie soon becomes Ellie’s cover, standing in and pretending to be the princess for Ellie. However, being a princess is not all it is cracked up to be as something threatens the crown and the girls. Someone knows Ellie and Lottie’s secret. Threats start to be sent and rumours are rife. The story follows these unlikely heroines as they protect Ellie’s sacred name whilst trying to live a normal life at school.

The review:

Okay, my summary was horrible.

I try to not copy blurbs or what is written on Goodreads but every time I tried to describe the plot line, I realised how dumb it sounds so excuse the shoddy description!

Like my description, this book sounds extremely juvenile. It kind of is but if you enjoyed The Princess Diaries and similar books then you may enjoy this one. I needed a really easy and light-hearted read and when I was accepted to review this, it was perfect. I would not recommend this book to anyone looking for a well-written, thought-provoking, serious novel.

I don’t know where to begin with this book. First I will say is I DO have positive things to say about this book so I will start with negativity, if you don’t want to hear about it then read a few paragraphs down!

I guess I will begin talking about the writing style. Connie Glynn is a Youtuber, who I am a fan of.  I dislike all of these Youtubers receiving book deals, based on popularity. I did have high hopes for Connie’s book though as I tend to think she is a lot more passionate than other Youtubers (about books). Unfortunately, my high hopes were quickly dashed after I read the first chapter. The writing style is terrible. The vocabulary is extremely stinted. Phrases, names and adverbs are repeated all of the time. The book definitely could have benefited from a thesaurus. Characters had limited dialogue, there was a lot of ‘he said, she said, he did, she did’. Not only this but they are melodramatic and this gets annoying quickly.

Okay so this is something I do not like to do – I do not like to compare writing styles/descriptions/plots/worlds to other literary works but a lot of descriptions in this book seemed like clear attempts at copying J.K. Rowling’s descriptions of Hogwarts. If you look at the description of the halls, the forest, and the portrait of the founder of the school in the headmaster’s portrait, you will find these similar descriptions. The portrait really annoyed me – Connie almost even describes the person in the portrait with twinkling eyes, which to me is a signature of J.K. Rowling’s description of Dumbledore.

I am now re-reading the Harry Potter series and I will stand by my observations.

Yet more negativity for you all; There was a lot of characters added for the sake of it. The secondary characters interacted very little with our main protagonists and simply appeared to make it look like a school. They did not add anything to the plot and in some moments, they hindered the plot, making it slow and taking space away from what is actually happening. Connie added characters for the hell of it. Finally, there was no world building. I did not feel as though I was in the school or in Maradove. I could not distinguish between England and Russia, and all places blended into one for me.

I felt the story-telling was quite shoddy.

Despite all of this negativity, I did enjoy the story. Although I did not get to know the characters and I feel that the author tried to do too many things in one small book, it was an enjoyable read.  I smiled a lot and I thought the protagonists were funny, cute, and enjoyable.  There were some chapters I could not stop reading. I wanted to know more about the characters and the secrets of Rosewood Hall, unfortunately I did not always get this information.

I will continue reading this series, I have hopes that Connie’s writing style can improve and that by reading reviews, she will realise that she has some plot points to decipher.

I am intrigued to see where the relationships go with the characters as I do not think Connie has decided if Lottie and Ellie are more than friends or if certain characters are exploring their sexuality. It seems like it is a very inclusive book and I like that about it.

In all, the book is badly written but it is definitely enjoyable and the characters are delightful (when they are not frustrating). I’ve given this 3 stars, I wanted to give higher but I couldn’t due to the writing style.

The Doll House

the doll house.jpg

Thank you to Netgalley and HQ Digital for an early copy of this book in exchange for an honest review! It is appreciated.

Lately it is taking me ages to get through books. Normally I am a speed reader but since our move to Sweden I’ve had very little time or energy to get through these books as I am trying to settle and find a job so I must apologise for the lack of blogs. I do have some good books coming up for review! I just need to get them finished (See Goodreads for any of the books coming up :D)

About the book

The Doll House is told through four different points of view.

  1. Corinne. A young woman who is going through IVF. It has been unsuccessful several times and she is praying that it is third time lucky. She grows envious and annoyed at other people with children and cannot understand why she is having such trouble. Corinne is the first to start finding pieces of her and her sister’s doll house at her apartment. At first, she thinks nothing of it but soon things start to turn sinister and Corinne’s life starts to shatter around her.
  2. Ashley. Ashley is Corinne’s sister. She is a frazzled mother of three who seems to be having marital problems. She starts receiving weird phone calls and when things start happening to her family, she realises that Corinne is not the only one being targeted.
  3. Dominic. Corinne’s partner and a journalist at the local paper. He is supportive of Corinne and tries to understand what she is going through but little does he know, he is closer to the issue than he thinks.
  4. Mystery character. A mystery character who seems to have a thing for stalking people. Nobody knows the person’s agenda or what they have to do with this until the very end.

It is coming up to the anniversary of their father’s death and Ashley and Corinne are struggling but little do they know, the struggle will reveal all kinds of truths about them and their families.

The Review

Man, the premise of this book is creepy. If somebody started leaving tiny doll house pieces on my front porch, I’d have moved out and burned that house down. Freaky! I think the idea of this book is brilliant and quite unique. I have not read anything with this kind of idea in a long time and due to this, I really really wanted to like it but eh, something seemed off to me.

The characters were not very likable. I always find this is a thing with thrillers. I normally do not like the characters and I normally cannot identify with them. The women, especially Corinne, seemed like they could not do anything for themselves and were always running to their partners or other people to help. Some of Corinne’s outbursts were far too dragged out and I found myself having to put the book down in the middle of the chapters, which I try to not do.

Alongside this, I thought the ‘villain’ was unpredictable – I was guessing all the way through but when we did find out who it was, I was actually really disappointed. I recently read and reviewed ‘Copycat’ by Alex Lake and I was so surprised at the ‘villain’ in that but we had not seen enough of the villain in this book to even realise they were a contender. It made me pretty annoyed. I also found that the reason behind all of the sinister, vengeful stuff was a little tame. If you read this too and think the same, please let me know. I honestly did not think the reasoning behind his/her thirst for blood was enough to want blood… Eh, it was a disappointment.

The writing overall is okay. There were times I was thrilled and wanted to read more but this book sat on my shelf a little too long to have me believe it was truly thrilling. I thought it was okay (as I have said) but it didn’t pack as much of a punch.

It seems there may be a sequel as well but I don’t think I would pick it up. I’ve definitely read better thrillers this year.

I gave it 3 stars because it was an entertaining read at times but that’s all it was. There was no real depth and it did not keep me interested for longer then 10 minutes at a time.


We are Never Meeting in Real Life.

We are neverWhilst browsing Jenny Lawson’s blog one day, I saw a mention of the author ‘Samantha Irby’. I am always intrigued by authors that my ‘faves’ recommend or who are friends with each other and so I immediately popped on to my Goodreads and hunted for Irby’s book. The cover immediately struck me. It has a bedraggled, grumpy kitten on it, who wouldn’t be intrigued by that?! I immediately got the e-book and started reading. 3 months later, I am still reading.

This year, I have read almost fifty books. Each book has taken me under a month (the average reading time being one-two weeks) to read and that is because I have been motivated to read them all. This book just did not get me motivated. I’ve actually had a really hard time reading this book, which is a shocker. I usually love books like this. There are days where I would rather pick up a book like Irby’s or Lawson’s and bunker down all day, rather than a fictional novel where I can get lost in a different world.

I just did not connect with the author AT ALL. I don’t like to get sucked into drama or gossip but I have seen on a number of platforms that some fans like to berate those who do not enjoy this book or feel as though they cannot connect with the author. I will say this – You can call me privileged or anything, this will not change my feelings about the book. I do not deny that Irby has struggled in life and has had some emotional hardships but again, this will not make me enjoy the book. I have no criticism of Irby as a person, I just didn’t enjoy reading 288 pages of her writing. I’ll just leave that out there without being mean or anything, I just feel the need to say this and shield myself.

So again – I did not connect with Samantha Irby. I feel that if you are to read a memoir or autobiography or any type of book where someone is telling you about their lives and is trying to be humorous about it, you need to connect with them to understand where they are coming from. I did not enjoy the humour in this book (I found no humour..), I did not enjoy the stories, and I felt that Irby’s writing was too harsh sometimes. I found the author to be quite judgmental and I feel like she would look down on me because I vote, love animals, am not lazy, etc. I feel like I do everything that the author wrinkles her own nose at. Samantha Irby is just a very different person from who I am and I feel that the reason I could not enjoy her book was that we would never get along in real life.

I think my main issue with the book is the crass and harsh essays that come out of it. I couldn’t stand any time she spoke of her cat. She hates animals and never wanted the little dying kitten that came into her life. She even used to check if it had died yet and she complains about owning her all the way through the book. I am a hardcore animal lover. If you read any of my reviews about animal fiction, you will get this. I felt she went too far when she was talking about the dying kitten and how she was just waiting for it to pass. I definitely sat reading that with disdain.

I don’t give up books but that nearly made me put this down.

You also need to be ready for some graphic poop stories, which seem to pop up all over the place.

In all honesty, I just really did not like the book (if you didn’t get that already). I cannot speak about each individual essay because some of them were boring and also, it’s taken me so long to read this book that I can’t remember what a lot of them were about. There is also little fluidity to the book which would help me remember what I had just read. Since the writing style is actually like the author speaking, I can tell you I didn’t like that either. It felt lazy and monotone and I had little desire to continue reading.

I just know now that this author isn’t for me. I am glad a lot of people like her and relate. I am glad she is a success after reading some of the sad stuff about her life but I will not be recommending the book or looking for more books by her.

I hope that this has not sounded too harsh.

I am going to give this one star. Unfortunately, that’s all I can give.





Thank you Netgalley and HarperCollins UK for the chance to read an early copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Creepy, dark and unnerving. This book will have you gripped.

About this book:

An old friend of Sarah Havenant tries to add Sarah on Facebook when she decides to move back to Barrow, Maine. However, there are two Sarah Havenant’s on Facebook; exactly the same as the other. When Sarah finds out, she is unnerved. This profile has private photos of her kids, her husband, and even the inside of her house, not only this but photos have been uploaded regularly for six months. Sarah believes it is some sick practical joke at first but letters begin to arrive in her handwriting and deep secrets are revealed. Soon, Sarah realises that something much more sinister is going on.

What a roller-coaster! I do not read many psychological thrillers but the description of this book had me very interested. People have far too much information out there on the internet and you hear some awful horror stories so I was interested in reading a fictional novel of what could happen with all of your information out there.

Alex Lake is a great thriller writer. She will have you gripped from the first page. The book is 416 pages long but Lake writes at such a fast-pace that you feel as though you read the book in an hour. I could not put the book down. I even learned to read whilst the TV is on or the family are talking so I could keep reading. The book is told in the third-person but the reader can identify with the character of Sarah and truly feel her terror every time a letter or e-mail arrives. If you want a great ‘guess-who’ novel then I would definitely recommend this. You will be guessing right until the end.

The book is separated into three parts and each part begins with a ‘ten years earlier’ excerpt, which will confuse you until pieces are put together closer to the end and you have that ‘ahhh’ moment. I must admit the first two parts are much better than the third. The third part is used to discuss the outcome of the ‘big reveal’ but I found it incredibly rushed and to be honest, some of the reveals were far-fetched and I was disappointed.  I thought the reveal was incredible but then you learn more and it is wrecked. There is also a point in the book where you get to 96% and things have not been tied up. That is a cause for worry as it usually means a rushed ending. However, as I said, the first two parts are incredible.

The first two parts follow all of the stalking incidents and Sarah’s attempts to prove she is not insane and that someone really is messing with her life. You learn about her life and family without it being too long winded and you get just enough character development to understand the characters and identify with them. I was not entirely in love with Sarah but if you read the book, you will understand why. She is not perfect and neither is anyone else in the book which I suppose makes it much more real. I just like to feel sorry for protagonists and at some points, I was also calling her crazy or stupid. I suppose that is part of the story though! The reader must guess along with Sarah and wonder whose side to be on.

All in all, the book is a good, fast-paced novel that will make you feel shock, terror, and worry. I believe it would be a good winter read (when the electric goes out) or a holiday read! Just be warned, some of the plot points are a bit unbelievable but as long as you know that, you can get through it.

I gave the book 4 stars because I really enjoyed it but there were a few too many problems that I could not get past!


The Switch

the switch

Thank you to Netgalley and Curiosity Quills Press for an early edition of this book in exchange for my honest review.

The Switch by A.W. Hill and Nathaneal Hill is about a switch; a switch that when used will allow the user to travel into different versions of their own universe. The young protagonist in the story, Jacobus Rose, is unhappy with his teenage life. He wants things to change. With the help of his friend, Connor, they flick a switch and begin their search for a new life. Little do they know how difficult and dangerous this will be. Meeting with more friends and banding together to form a motley crew, the reader follows Jacobus and his friends as they try to get back to their original lives, away from the chaos they find themselves in.

I really wanted to like this book. I really, really wanted to like this book and I am shocked I did not. I searched other people’s reviews and they are largely positive so I have no idea why I am one of the minority there. I thought the premise of the novel was intriguing and despite not being a fan of sci-fi, I thought I would read this and review. Unfortunately, my experience with this novel has proved that I am probably never going to be interested in sci-fi so I apologise to any sci-fi fans out there.

First of all, the writing divided me. On one hand, the authors are experts at setting the scene. Their descriptions were unique and artful all at once. I could see each universe vividly with no gaps in my knowledge. The post-apocalyptic universes that Jacobus and his friends find themselves stuck in were the best described and I actually wish the whole book could have been set in those interesting universes. However, the authors are not always artful. They fail in their writing in some parts.  Some of the scientific ‘mumbo-jumbo’ was far too convoluted. I understand if you are a sci-fi fan and are used to reading about alternate realities, traveling, multiverses, etc, but as someone choosing this as one of their rare sci-fi picks, I felt lost and excluded from the conversation. I had to stop several times and go back a few pages to figure out what on earth was being said. I still think I missed quite a lot. I feel that things could have been simplified as I felt there was quite a bit of repetition and some questions asked or answers given seemed misplaced and as if they were not necessary.

I did find a few positives to this novel.

1.The plot is so unique. The flick of a switch can transport you to a completely different universe, where you may never have been born or could have been born into a different family or different time. It’s very interesting. I have never heard of anything similar and that is what pulled me in. I would definitely give the book 5 stars for individuality.

2. The characters are great. There are 4-5 members of the motley crew and each have an interesting back story and have a unique bond with each other. All of the characters are likeable and you want to get to know them further, and the reader roots for these characters to find their way back to their original world. There is a small bit of romance as well as great bonding movements throughout which is something I like to see in a young adult novel. It was definitely a redeeming factor in a disappointing novel (in my opinion).

Okay so the part you have all been waiting for, why is this so disappointing? I just feel it is so convoluted in places. Not only do you have to read a couple of pages of multiverse or alternate reality talk and still have to go back and read it again to fully understand, but also the characters switch to so many different universes that you do not actually get a moment to enjoy and appreciate the places the authors are creating. The ‘hive’ post-apocalyptic world could have been discussed for half of the novel and it would have still packed the punch that the authors were looking for but you get a few chapters in this universe and then you are onto another one. Some of the universes were a snooze-fest and I am not going to lie, I used this book a lot as a ‘I am struggling to sleep, this will do the trick’ and you know you are not happy with the book when you cannot keep your eyes open reading it. Don’t get me wrong, I was reading page after page in some parts and was so involved in it but then it would take a boring turn and I’d be gone again.

I do not really have much more that I can say about the novel. Whilst reading it, I was dreading the review process because I did not know what to say or how I could say it. I am actually disappointed in my own review as I just feel I could shrug my shoulders at the book. So I am very sorry for a shoddy review but it definitely reflects my feelings.

My next review will definitely be more interesting (and well-written) as I am going to dive back into the genres that I love and can ramble on for days about!

Thank you again to Netgalley and Curiosity Quills for the early copy and I am sorry it did not work out.

I give this book a generous 2 stars based on the fact I liked the characters and the idea.

Goodreads Book Tag


I have been working on getting a few books read for reviews lately and I am being a bit slow to be honest so I currently have no books (well, no books that I want) to review at the moment so I thought this would be the appropriate time to do the Goodreads Book Tag. I am not sure where this started but it was not started by me so credit to the inventor of this cool tag! Also, I know that you are meant to be tagged to do this but I just felt like doing this so I’ll break the rules a bit (wow, what a rebel..)

I am on Goodreads before any of my other social media sites every day so this is definitely a good tag for me to do! Let’s dive right in!

What was the last book you marked as ‘read’?

Grief Cottage by Gail Godwin

grief cottage

I received an ARC of this from Netgalley and Bloomsbury and I am super grateful that they let me have this book. I was extremely excited to read it but I thought it was very disappointing as it was advertised more as a ghost story than it actually is. My review is already up anyway if anybody would like to read that!

What are you currently reading?

The Switch by A.W. Hill

the switch.png

Another ARC sent to me by Netgalley and Curiosity Quills. This book is definitely different from what I would usually choose but I thought it may be interesting to give it a go. I am 20% in and only started it the other day and I am actually really enjoying it. Some of the technical jargon is lost on me but everything else is pretty interesting and the main character is very likeable which is always a bonus! More on that when I get to reviewing it.

It by Stephen King


I am not someone who reads several different books at the same time but there are so many I want to read at the moment that I found myself picking different ones up. It is a book I have been meaning to pick up for AGES. The thing that has put me off is how long it is but once you’re 200 pages in, the pacing picks up. I am a huge horror fan and I just couldn’t wait to get my paws on something about a horrific, killer clown. Stephen King’s writing style is strange. This is actually my first Stephen King novel but with the movie coming out next month, I thought it would be good to read the story and review for those who are curious about it.

Dunkirk: The History Behind the Major Motion Picture by Joshua Levine


Another thing about my tastes is that I am really interested in fiction and non-fiction about WWI and WWII. It is just a part of history that I am fascinated in and as a Brit, I like to know about the major challenges we and the world faced. I am not far into this book at all. I plan to go see the movie and wanted a bit of an update on the history and how the film was made before I go and see it so I started this and then put it down because I started reading It but I will get more into it soon enough.

We are never meeting in real life by Samantha Irby

We are never.jpg

I saw Jenny Lawson wrote a bit about meeting Irby and how funny she was and I HAD to pick up this book. I loved the cover too and I am a big fan of humorous essays about a woman’s life. I am, again, not very far into this novel and so cannot really judge it yet. I have not found it very funny and I am not a fan of Irby’s writing style yet but as I said, I will not judge and we will wait and see!

What was the last book you marked as TBR? 

The Ballroom by Anna Hope

the ballroom

Another book that I would not usually pick up but I saw a Goodreads friend review it and thought it sounded pretty interesting. Set in the Yorkshire moors (where I am actually from), the story focuses on characters who are based in an asylum. They are separated by sex but are allowed to come together once a month in the grand ballroom. It’s meant to be pretty historical and romantic and I am so not into romances but I will give it ago!

What book do you plan to read next? 

Copycat by Alex Lake


An ARC sent to me by Netgalley and Harper Collins, which I am so, so happy about! It’s a psychological thriller about a stalker, and I am so into that. I don’t want to say too much about it because I must review it once I’ve read it!

Black Rabbit Hall by Eve Chase

black rabbit hall.jpg

I read a book by Eve Chase as an ARC and I am now obsessed with her writing so this is my next stop!

Do you use the star rating system?

Yes I do! I wish it did half stars because sometimes I am very picky about my books but I use the star system on both Goodreads and here. I think it’s the best thing for people to gauge how you really felt about the book.

Are you doing a 2017 Reading Challenge? 

I am! I did not do one last year as my main focus has been on my BA and my MA but this year I decided that it was my time to read what I wanted and I’m really proud of myself. Usually, I read the same genre over and over but I wouldn’t let myself this time. I set myself a goal of 50, just to try it out. I am at 45 books now.

Do you have a wishlist? 

Yeah I do. It’s my ‘real-bookshelf’ or ‘to-own’ list on Goodreads. It’s very small right now but I will add to it soon!

What book do you plan to buy next? 

Since I am moving, I do not want to buy any more books. I am getting a studio apartment and cannot fit everything but when I eventually can, I will probably add to my James Herriot collection.

Do you have any favourite quotes? Share a few.


Who are your favourite authors?

Michelle Paver, J.K. Rowling, George R.R. Martin, Harper Lee, Ransom Riggs, Jenny Lawson, W. Bruce Cameron, Eve Chase.

Have you joined any groups?

No, I don’t believe so.


Thanks for reading! Review will be up soon!



Grief Cottage

grief cottage

Thank you Netgalley and Bloomsbury Publishing PLC for the early copy in exchange for an honest review. It is always appreciated.

Although I was sent an early copy of this, I am not going to lie in my review. I will be brutally honest. Always.

I just didn’t ‘get’ this novel and I did not enjoy it. I was actually disappointed in it. The description of the book and other reviews paint the novel as a ghost story but ghost story, it is not. The novel is more of a coming-of-age, coming-to-terms-with-grief kind of novel. I am always disappointed when books are different from their descriptions or do not fit the genre they have been assigned. I sign up for novels for a reason and if they deviate too far from the description then I am disappointed.

Grief Cottage by Gail Godwin is described as a ghost story. Marcus, our eleven year old protagonist moves to a small South Carolina island with his reclusive, painter, great aunt Charlotte after his mother dies suddenly. Marcus becomes  obsessed with Grief Cottage, which the islanders have named as a family went missing there, during a hurricane. Marcus becomes obsessed with this story, visiting the cottage every morning and speaking to the boy whose body was never found. One day, the dead boy reveals himself and along with it, more questions are asked and answered.

Unfortunately, that is where the ghost story ends.

Marcus becomes obsessed with Grief Cottage and does all he can to learn about the house and its deceased inhabitants. Through this research, I thought we would be given some great revelation in the end but all of that falls flat. There was an opportunity for more but as soon as the dead boy reveals himself, the ghost story disappears. I really thought I was in for something haunting and beautiful. Instead, we get a lot of rambling plot points and threads that just seem as if the author is trying to do too much.

It took me SO long to get into this novel also. There isn’t really a plot. Instead, we get a lot of character development and the focus is on all of the developments in Marcus and Aunt Charlotte’s lives. One redeeming factor of this is that Marcus is an amazing character. He is so likeable, you will not believe he is only eleven. He has a certain curiosity that will make you curious too. If it wasn’t for Marcus, I would have stopped reading.

Finally, I have seen a lot of people praise Godwin’s writing style but I really disliked it. She is very good at describing scenes but I’m not into big scenic descriptions. I like excitement and fluidity but Godwin skips chronologically and does not seem to flow, which annoys me.

Unfortunately, this book was not the book I thought I was reading. I have given this 2 stars. I would give it 2.5 just because I liked Marcus but I am just too disappointed in it. Maybe the more I think of it, this will change.


Furiously Happy

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My goodness, this book is HILARIOUS! I read the majority of this in a day. I turned off my laptop, sat down in bed and read and read and read. When I eventually had to get up to eat or go to the bathroom, I carried my kindle everywhere. I was probably in quite a lot of hazardous situations that day but I truly couldn’t care less. I wanted to absorb and memorise every funny story or thing Jenny Lawson wrote and repeat it all to my long-suffering boyfriend, friends, and family. Unfortunately, a lot of Jenny’s jokes need context and I have the memory of a gnat.

You may notice I say ‘Jenny’ a lot in this review. Usually, I refer to authors as ‘the author’ or by their last name but through this book, Jenny feels more like a friend who helps her readers get through some truly terrible stuff by being completely cooky and crazy. She even addresses the reader and you feel like she is sat telling you a long and hilarious story. I have recommended absolutely everyone this year to read this book, to the point where I am sure everyone wants to ram the book down my throat. Funny thing is though this was a book I put off reading that my best friend urged me to read. She only got me to read it when she let me listen to 2 minutes of the audio book and I was hooked. Sorry, friend – I just have an unnecessary problem with choosing my own things, haha.

Jenny Lawson describes her own work as a “funny book about living with mental illness. It sounds like a terrible combination, but personally, I’m mentally ill and some of the most hysterical people I know are as well. So if you don’t like the book then maybe you’re just not cray enough to enjoy it. Either way, you win”. This book is about making the best of your problems. You may be depressed, anxious, completely downtrodden but in this book, Jenny is “fucking done with sadness, and I don’t know what’s up with the ass of the universe lately but I’ve had it. I AM GOING TO BE FURIOUSLY HAPPY, OUT OF SHEER SPITE”. And that’s how the book came about. Jenny tells us her story of her mental health (and physical health) struggles and makes us laugh along the way.

This book is again, hilarious! I made an ass of myself on the bus. I made an ass of myself in the university I was tutoring in. I also made an ass of myself in work so thanks Jenny for that. It was SO worth it. If you don’t find Jenny endearing, cooky and a ball of sunshine then you may find her antics with her husband and little girl funny. I must admit I love, love, LOVE Jenny but any of her stories that included Victor, her husband, they just got me completely. My friend has actually stated that Victor and Jenny are my partner and I and funny enough, I had been thinking the same thing. Jenny is unique, quirky and as I keep saying, cooky, whilst Victor is sensible and knows when to say no (even if no-one will listen anyway). These mixed make my partner and I (I am the quirky one apparently! Quirky and proud!). Anyway, I think a lot of people can relate. I have seen a few negative reviews about the humour or the issues at hand but they have confessed themselves that they have not suffered with mental health issues and simply found Jenny too ‘silly’.

I will admit that Jenny will not be everyone’s cup of tea but there is something for everyone in this book. You will have to adjust to the kind of crazy humour Jenny has but it is very quick and the message of this book is just fabulous. Also – have you seen the cover? It has a taxidermy raccoon in a furiously happy pose! Who could not love that? This book is so impressive. For some reason, I gave it four stars on Goodreads but as time has passed, I have definitely gained more adoration for it. I think this is a thing that most readers of Jenny will find. Not everyone is going to like Jenny. Her stories are exaggerated and over the top and her comments to her own editor get kind of crazy too but sometimes, you’ve just got to step outside that comfort zone and give it ago. It will be for a lot of people.

I read this book before I read Jenny’s debut novel and still enjoyed it as much as I did when I read the first so do not worry about any order!

Originally had given this book four stars but I have upped it to five stars as it has matured in my brain like a good, stinky cheese!

Blog Update: Chugging my way through IT still (can we appreciate that I am quarter of the way through, woohoo!), I really want that review up as there is hype for the new movie. I am also working through a Bloomsbury novel that is out in August so hopefully will have some interesting blogs for you guys in the weeks to come!

History of Wolves


Blog Update: I will get to writing more recent reviews soon. I am currently reading IT by Stephen King, which is such a large novel that it is taking ages. I have also been sent some books by publishers that I promise to get to soon! Please bear with me!

I must warn you readers, this book is not about wolves. The cover and title are extremely deceiving but I guess it teaches us that old lesson of ‘not judging a book by its cover’. I actually found this book through my love of books about animals and although I found out it was not a book about wolves when I read the blurb, I still picked it up as it did sound like an interesting read.

Emily Fridlund’s debut novel focuses on a young girl named Madeline (who goes by the name of ‘Linda’). Linda lives in a shack with her parents, isolated from other people apart from at school. That is until the Gardner family move in across the lake. On her walks through the woods,  Linda befriends Patra Gardner and her son, Paul. She soon becomes a babysitter for Paul but all does not seem right in the Gardner household.

Meanwhile, another student from Linda’s school takes centre stage, Lily. Lily becomes involved with the history teacher, Mr. Grierson and when he is charged with the possession of child pornography, Linda is affected on an emotional level.

The first thing I will say about this book is that is is weird. It is actually the strangest book I have read this year. Even though I read it a number of months ago, I cannot get my head around it and how I feel about it.

I think the reason I still feel weird about this novel is that it is told through the eyes of Linda, a teenager with an isolated upbringing who lacks social skills and does not react normally to social cues. Fridlund’s writing is so beautiful that you are easily placed into Linda’s world and her unique situation. Linda is bullied and dreams of walking in her classmate, Lily’s ‘beautiful’ shoes. It is only her relationship with Paul that releases her of her issues.

Fridlund is very good at writing the landscape and making you feel as though you are stepping in the woods or in the snow. Her writing haunts you to the bone and you feel uneasy with every step that Linda takes. Unfortunately though, Fridlund adds far too many layers to the story. There are a lot of promising plot points that are not expanded on or tied together at the end. The focus is the main plotline and causes other points to be lost entirely. The story is an incredibly weighty story with a lot of moral dilemmas for the reader to question but I cannot help but wish for more points to have been expanded on.

The story is told in two parts and the first part is exceptional as the reader gets to know the author’s writing style, the landscape, and the world of the teenage narrator. However, the second part is confusing. There is a new timeline and you get lost in Linda’s new life, trying to get away with the situation she became immersed in with the Gardner’s and their son.  I understand it is about her subjective point of view and what she wants to say or what she saw but there is something lost in doing this.

There was a lot more in this story that I wanted to learn but I am not a fan of sequels and I know that this is good as a stand alone book. I gave it three stars. It is a good book and if anything, the description of the landscape and the haunting way Emily Fridlund writes will definitely have you enjoying this book – just note that it is strange.