Sunday, 9 November 2014

What I've Been Reading #5

book review

It’s really hard to give a synopsis of this book without ruining it. I’d seen this mentioned on a couple of blogs but I hadn’t actually read what it was about and I’m glad I hadn’t - it’s better going into this book blind. What I will say is that it’s set in dystopia where there are very few survivors. Ten year old Melanie spends her life going between her cell and a classroom where she loves learning and loves her teacher, Miss Justineau. We’re quickly made aware that things aren't quite as they seem as Melanie and her classmates are shackled to their seats and are starved of psychical contact. It’s one of those books that haunt you even after you’ve finished it. It’s emotional and gripping and definitely one of my favourite books I’ve read this year.

I’d first like to point out that I’m really not a fan of time travel. I couldn’t finish The Time Travellers Wife (possibly the only book in the last 5 years that I point blank refused to finish reading), I refused to read the second of the All Souls Trilogy despite really enjoying A Discovery of Witches and even frowned slightly at Hermione’s Time Turner. I bought The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August without really reading much about it after it came up as a suggestion on Amazon. It could have went horribly wrong but surprisingly it didn’t. Think Groundhog Day mixed with Captain America without the superheroes. Every time Harry August dies he is reborn into his past life with with all of his previous memories. Throughout his first few lives he tries the family man approach, becomes a doctor, an academic before finding that something is causing havoc earlier in each of his lives and he must try to stop it. The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August is certainly a page turner and good sci-fi for those who don’t like sci-fi. 

Where She Went - Gayle Forman
Following on from If I Stay but from Adam’s point of view at the height of his musical career. It goes into how the accident effected him and what happened to Mia. As I mentioned in my last What I’ve Been Reading post, I really enjoyed If I Stay but the sequel just didn’t do it for me. It took the “I can’t live without you” approach that I really don’t enjoy in teen fiction. 

The Humans - Matt Haig
This was described as “a love letter to humanity” on Amazon and I really couldn’t describe it any better. After a mathematician makes a breakthrough which a certain alien civilisation doesn’t think humans can handle, an alien is sent to take over his body to make sure that his findings are never brought to light. Having never experience emotions, this alien ends up developing relationships and learning what love is. There’s one particular part where the alien is giving his pretend son advice for life which brought me to tears. It’s funny and leaves you with the “maybe humanity isn’t so bad” feeling.

I Am Pilgram - Terry Hayes
Oh how I love a thriller. This is Homeland mixed with James Bond with a little bit of B613 from Scandal thrown in. Pilgram is first introduced as an agent from a US Intelligence group who is looking to retire. This retirement is short lived when he is asked to help with a potential global crisis. At 700 pages, you’d need to be a committed reader for this one. At times Hayes drags the story but it’s worth persevering. 

American Psycho - Bret Easton Ellis
After discovering just how much I enjoy reading Irvine Welsh books I thought I would try some Bret Easton Ellis. This is without a doubt most horrifically disgusting book I have ever read however the way Patrick Bateman’s character is developed throughout the book and how he normalises his violence is fascinating. Not one to read if you have a weak stomach but it’s definitely made me want to read more transgression fiction and I now think that everyone I pass in a suit is a psychopathic serial killer. 

Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
This is often considered a must-read book however after reading it I really don’t understand what the fascination is. I’m sure you’re all familiar with the story - single, 30-something Bridget obsessing about her weight and love life, something I’m sure all females can relate to to some extent. It has laugh out loud moments and who couldn’t love Mark Darcy but I was just left feeling a bit meh. 


  1. We pretty much have exactly the same taste in books! I loved girl with all the gifts and I am Pilgrim. I just watched American Psycho like an hour ago, so I will have to pick up the book as it sounds interesting! xx

    Jasmin Charlotte | UK Lifestyle Blog