Honeymoon Reads

Sunday, 8 November 2015
This post was in high demand.  And by that I mean, I asked here if anyone would like me to do a post about the books I read on honeymoon and one of my friends said yes.

It's what bloggers say though isn't it?  I don't know how many Youtube videos I've watched that start with "so lots of you have been asking me to do this video...".  Did they though?  DID THEY??  Show me the evidence.

Anyway, like I said - you were all crying out for a book review post so here it is.  Now I've never reviewed books before (actually, that's a lie - my primary 5 portfolio would say otherwise), so don't go expecting any in-depth analyses.  

*Note: these reviews are all spoiler free - in terms of plot I'll only discuss as much as you'd garner from reading the back of the book*

Paula Hawkins - The Girl on The Train

I bought myself a Kindle recently and this was one of the first books I searched for as lots of people I follow on Twitter had been talking about it.  One of the first things that surprised me when I started searching for Kindle books was how expensive they were.  Perhaps I was being naive in my assumption that ebooks would be dead cheap, but most that I found were pretty much the same cost as the paperbacks - a few were even more expensive which seems mental (it's not even reaaaaaal!).

Anyway, cost aside, I've been enjoying using my Kindle and I'm finding I'm reading a lot more than I used to which is good.  I do feel like a bit of an old lady though - I keep accidentally highlighting words, or turning the page by mistake, or clumsily prodding the screen trying to work out how to reveal the bookmark menu.

The Girl on The Train is about a woman called Rachel who takes the same train to work, passing through the same town, watching the same people out the window, every single day.  One day she thinks she sees something, and when a local woman is reported missing she becomes obsessed with trying to work out what happened to her.  There are loads of interesting moments in this book, and some genuinely unexpected twists - it was hard to put it down.  I will say though that for most of the book I found the main character really annoying, so it was quite hard to sympathise with what was happening to her.  Towards the end though I began to warm to her, which I suppose might have been the authors intention!  That's the only negative (if it is even a negative ) I could say though - it's definitely worth a read!

Alex Marwood - The Wicked Girls

Another Kindle purchase was The Wicked Girls by Alex Marwood (a pseudonym of a British journalist). I found this a really compelling read, and although the subject matter is pretty grim it doesn't go into too much gory detail so it wasn't as disturbing as it could have been.  Without giving too much away, the book centres around 2 women  - Kirsty and Amber - who were imprisoned at 11 years old for being involved in the murder of a younger child (so a sort of fictionalised Jamie Bulger type story).  A series of coincidences brings them crashing back into each others lives around 20 years later, and we see how differently their past has affected each of them.

The book has a couple of different narratives - so for the most part the chapters alternate between the main characters POV, but theres also a series of flashback chapters which gradually reveal what happened on the day of the original incident leading to their imprisonment.  Similar to Girl on the Train, I didn't really like any of the characters - although I'm pretty sure that's intentional in this case given what they did.  In saying that, there were a couple moments where I did feel sympathy towards them though as some pretty horrible things happen as the story progresses.  I won't spoil it for you in case you want to give it a read, but yeah don't go in expecting a happy ending!

David Mitchell - Thinking About It Only Makes It Worse: And Other Lessons From Modern Life

And now for a bit of light relief with 'Thinking About It Only Makes It Worse: And Other Lessons From Modern Life' by David Mitchell. That’s David Mitchell the actor and comedian, not David Mitchell, author of Cloud Atlas. Funny story – my friend Terri was up in Edinburgh for the book festival earlier this year and when we met for lunch she was talking about going to a talk by David Mitchell later in the day, and I only realised about a month later that she was not in fact seeing Mark Corrigan from Peep Show.

This was actually an emergency book purchase (yes, there is such a thing) as I was going to get my hair highlighted after work one day and realised I hadn’t brought any reading material for my 3 hour appointment. Luckily there’s a Waterstones a few doors down from my office on Princes St so I popped in at lunch and picked this up on a whim. I like David Mitchell – I’m a big fan of Peep Show and I enjoyed his Mitchell & Webb sketches, and I always found him pretty funny on panel shows – so I thought this would be an easy and enjoyable read.

'Thinking About It...' is a collection of his columns from the Observer newspaper, so similar to the likes of Screen Burn by Charlie Brooker.  There were ok bits, funny bits, really funny bits, and bits that were so boring I had to skip past them.  If you're a really big fan of Mitchells' appearances on panel shows then you'll probably really enjoy this, but for me it was only ok.  The fact that I've already donated the book to a charity shop speaks for itself, haha!

Francesca Haig - The Fire Sermon

They say you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but I actually mainly bought this because I thought the cover art was beautiful.  Isn't it stunning? Also, you might be able to spot the 'buy one get one half price' sticker on the David Mitchell book, well this was the second book I picked up on that emergency lunch break book stop.  It turned out to be a great random choice though, as this book is AMAZING.  I devoured it in almost one day on the honeymoon as I couldn't put it down - look, here's me sitting by the pool reading the book...

...and here's me on the beach reading the book....

It's just SUCH a great story - Francesca Haig creates a dystopian world that you're just desperate to find out more about, and writes characters that you will fall completely in love with.  Without giving too much away - the Fire Sermon is set in a post apocalyptic world, where everyone is born in twins, one Alpha and one Omega.  One perfect and one defected.  At birth they are separated, the Omega's branded like cattle and shunned to the outskirts of society.  The bond between twins continues though, and if one dies then so does the other, in exactly the same way (so if one drowns, the other will start choking on water and die too).  Sounds pretty cool eh?

By the time I finished the book I was desperate for more and was super excited to hear that not only is this just the first book in a trilogy (the second book is out next year), but it's also potentially being made into a film.  Yes please!

Another dystopian trilogy I'm currently LOVING is The Chaos Walking trilogy by Patrick Ness.  I just started the 3rd book this weekend and I don't know what I'm going to do with myself when it's over.  I haven't felt this passionate about characters in a book ever - if certain people get killed off I will be devastated (I've already been heartbroken twice so far!).  It's also probably the most depressing book series I've ever read - seriously, every time it looks like things are looking up something else terrible happens.  Can't anyone catch a break?!  If I do another book review post I'll no doubt go into more detail on this trilogy as I'll have completed it by then.  I'm bracing myself for a painful ending already....

1 comment:

  1. I'm sooooo glad you finally read Chaos Walking! I'm definitely gonna give The Fire Sermon a go because of this review. Aaaaand you raving about it on the bus ;-) sounds ace!xx