Book Review. Re-Reading Bad Girls by Jacqueline Wilson.

What else do you do at 3 o’ clock in the morning, when you can’t sleep?

Read childhood favourites, oc.

It is no exaggeration to say I read Jacqueline Wilson over and over again when I was a child.

I don’t think Bad Girls was one of my favourites, but close.

I remembered everything in this book. In typical Wilson style, the subjects that are in the story are so relatable to a young girl. Bullying, wanting to be friends with someone who is older and cooler, being embarrassed by your parents, being your own person and wanting to make your own choices. For a book that is only a hundred and seventy something pages long, Bad Girls is hefty. Tanya is a character I probably understand a lot more now as an adult and the concerns Mandy’s parents have in Mandy being friends with the ‘bad girl’ neighbour Tanya. I think Tanya’s character is not just a cliché of a stereotype of a child in the care system. I like the felt tip pen theme in the chapters too and that it is a bonding factor in Mandy and Tanya’s friendship. I think Jacqueline Wilson’s writing is very smart, as well as appealing. I am so keen to re-read more of her books now.

Shy, mild Mandy has been bullied at school for as long as she can remember. That’s why she is delighted when cheeky, daring, full-of-fun Tanya picks her as a friend.

Mum isn’t happy – she thinks Tanya’s a BAD GIRL and a bad influence on her daughter. But Mandy loves spending time with her brilliant new friend, and is sure Tanya can only get her out of trouble, not into it . . . or could she?

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Book Review. Queer Intentions by Amelia Abraham.

I did not know what to expect from this book. I borrowed it from the e-library and the blurb didn’t load because the WI-FI was being silly, but I chose to borrow it anyway because a journey from LGBTQ+ culture sounded good to me. The personal experience comes from the author’s relationship breakup and exploring marriage, and what that can signify for LGBTQ+ people. Then we went from that to Pride parades, voguing, and trans rep in mainstream media. The book spoke about LGBTQ+ rights, appropriation and tokenism. The author travelled to New York, Serbia and Turkey to hear the stories of LGBTQ+ people.

I learnt a lot from this book. There were a few things I was not aware of, or only knew vaguely about, and this book made me look them up after reading about them. There were points made in Queer Intentions which opened my eyes.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Queer Intentions.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Combining intrepid journalism with her own personal experience, in Queer Intentions, Amelia Abraham searches for the answers to these urgent challenges, as well as the broader question of what it means to be queer right now. With curiosity, good humour and disarming openness, Amelia takes the reader on a thought-provoking and entertaining journey. Join her as she cries at the first same-sex marriage in Britain, loses herself in the world’s biggest drag convention in L.A., marches at Pride parades across Europe, visits both a transgender model agency and the Anti-Violence Project in New York to understand the extremes of trans life today, parties in the clubs of Turkey’s underground LGBTQ+ scene, and meets a genderless family in progressive Stockholm.

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my thoughts on 2 murder mystery books

 

 

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie 4/5

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Can you imagine how fun it must be (I’m kidding) sitting down and imagining … these murder scenarios? Do the writers fox themselves? Because characters, even if we do ultimately control them, still do what they damn well like.

I also love Agatha Christie’s dialogue. I think I have said it before in a review, but I bloody love good dialogue. It’s like music to my ears, when you read some dialogue and it has a bit of bite to it and a bit of humour. It’s pleasing. Roddy Doyle is another author that I like for dialogue.



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I think I want dialogue to mirror real life. Which is why there are no rules to writing. You would have dozens of editors complaining if how we spoke to each other was put in our stories. It wouldn’t make sense. Unfinished thoughts, talking over one another, repetition, some coarse language. Of course, accents and dialects too. Do you feel perhaps in stories we try to replicate the perfect scenario? Isn’t that why we read stories, we expect a start, middle and end. I personally love reading stories that don’t really have a story, more happenings. I read a book a couple of months ago like that. It was Keith Waterhouse’s There is a Happy Land. It’s a beautiful book. I probably read it once every couple of years. I don’t have my own copy of it. I know where it is in the public library and I pluck it off the shelves periodically. Pluck is the wrong word. The shelves are packed tightly in my public library and it’s more of a shuffle, tug, pull, shuffle, break a nail and a yank. Then you realise it’s the wrong book and not what you want after all and have to get it back in.


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Anyway, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd was a hit with me. It’s all very clear and obvious whodunnit by the explanation at the end, isn’t it?


Another mystery I read was

Hate Bale: A Rural Cosy Mystery by Stephanie Dogg 3/5

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Hate Bale is very cosy. It has romance, humour and its setting and characters were different (depends what you’ve been reading, I guess) The murders though are brutal, when you think about what you are reading. The ending was wordy, and it went from 60 to 100 in the space of 3? chapters. I felt the plot and the pacing could have been tightened. It did meander, not that I mind a meander. Other readers may not.
Not a bad read though. I liked it.


 

My thoughts on Breeda Looney Steps Forth by Oliver Sands

Hello. Hope you are all keeping well. Self-isolating here in the UK and getting through my tbr pile. Isolation isn’t far from the norm for me anyway. We have to just stay safe, healthy and look out for each other.



After her mother’s death &a suicide attempt directionless Breeda decides to finally clear out her mum’s house. From there Breeda finds a thread which unravels her entire family. I felt for Breeda. I could all too well identify with her. I was sensitive to her plight. For a debut novel this was an excellent read and had me hooked throughout. I liked the twists and turns, the characters. I switched off completely and got into this book and the ending was satisfactory.

My one issue was Breeda’s surname Looney. I don’t like the word looney, I think it’s a cruel word and what with some of the topics in the book – felt tactless but I understand the word has other origins and this book is based in Ireland, with Irish characters.

I would recommend this book and I will definitely be reading it again.


Breeda Looney tells herself she’s happy with her life in a small Irish fishing village. Sure, there are days she talks to no one but the cat, her Aunt Nora considers her a waste of skin, and her panic attacks have become public spectacles. Still, what’s the use in complaining?

Then Breeda makes a shocking discovery that flips her world upside down. Her father, said to have died when Breeda was a child, might actually still be alive.

Breeda’s search for her father will strain her sanity to its limits, pitting her against her formidable Aunt Nora and forcing her to revisit a dark place she thought she’d buried forever.

And as she digs up the family dirt to find him, Breeda will begin to wonder… has she taken a step too far?


buy link


Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a Kindle copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

My Thoughts on Poetry, short stories and shapeshifter brothers oh my.

Witty, tender, surprising, these keenly observed tales speak to us all, and capture the moment when we all want to roar.


Roar by Cecilia Ahern

Published by HarperCollins
These stories from Cecelia Ahern are a departure from her novels (which I have a lot of time for) and they are chilling. If you look at the list of the stories, some of the stories are a literal as their titles suggest. The stories underline how women are invisible, whatever age: invisible once elderly, put to one side once married.
My one bugbear would be that the characters were all uniform. There was not a great variety in there.


Peppernell understands that healing is a process, and Pillow Thoughts II eloquently captures the time and experience that one goes through on their journey to peace through restoration. A collection of inspirational and comforting poems for anyone who is mending from a broken heart.


Pillow Thoughts 2 by Courtney Peppernell

Published by Andrews McMeel
I enjoyed the writing in Pillow Thoughts 2.
I liked that I could dip in and out of the book.
I found my problem was with the writing, which was impeccable, and an accurate portrayal of falling, and being in love, was so good I couldn’t connect with it, and almost couldn’t finish Pillow Thoughts.


Wicked Origins is a modern YA Fantasy Retelling of L. Frank Baum’s original Oz tales.


Wicked Origins by Paula Black
A retelling of The Wizard of Oz, Paula Black takes elements of the original story and adds them into her own tale. Black’s Dorothy is a hardened character, a child in care who doesn’t trust easy, and lives with Aunt Em and Uncle Henry, and sister. During a tornado her car is taking and lands in the place called Oz, along with her dog Toto. Instead of the Scarecrow, Tinman, and Lion her companions are three shape shifter brothers. The Ruby slippers that Dorothy puts on her feet to save herself from the Munch’kins are boots. The relationship of the brothers and Dorothy develops into a tight unit. I wasn’t convinced by some of the passages in the story. I liked the characters and the dialogue. I will be adding part two to my TBR.


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