Book Review. Santorini set A Terrible Beauty by Tasha Alexander.

I read one book by Tasha Alexander, which I loved and so I borrowed A Terrible Beauty before lockdown from my library.

It is an odd read. It isn’t a high-octane thriller. It has intrigue, crime and mystery – a dead man comes back to life!

I feel like the emotional depth of the story and its characters took centre stage. There were a couple of surprise moments and excitement towards the end. The build-up of the story is slow. I don’t mind slow. The setting of Santorini and Greek myths was a distraction. My best description of A Terrible Beauty can be found in the text, in this quote, ’High stakes but seemingly endless time in a prolonged state of expectancy’

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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Finding Henry Applebee by Celia Reynolds

Finding Henry Applebee is only 99p on Kindle at the moment! Set in past Blackpool, historical romance – an emotional read.

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The story of Henry Applebee is primarily narrated by the man himself, although characters Ariel and Travis do take parts in being protagonists. The timeline of the story switches between past and present. I was unsure of this book at first, until I got the gist of which path the story was going to take. Not that it is predictable. There is a huge build up, you have to wait for it though. I liked the setting of the train station in the present and loved being in Blackpool for the past. This is a story of lost love and once you discover how Henry met this woman and lost her because of his insecurities (and mobile phones hadn’t been invented) it did make my eyes mist over.

Unfortunately, the story lost its way in its conclusion. I felt like the author was trying to repeat…

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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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Book Review. I Left the House Today by Cassandra Calin.

Hilarious and relatable comics about one young woman’s life, relationships, and day-to-day humorous musings on why it’s good to leave the house sometimes—and when it’s better to stay home.

Cassandra Calin’s ability to document the hilarity of relatable everyday events in a series of webcomics has generated a huge following on social media. This beautifully illustrated compendium of first-person comics about the trials of the single life, school, stress, junk food, shaving, and maintaining a healthy self-image. Cassandra Calin’s comics frequently highlight the humorous gap between expectations and reality, especially when it comes to appearance and how much she can accomplish in one day. This book is funny, lighthearted, introspective, and artistically stunning—the perfect gift for young women, recent graduates, and anyone who might need a little comedic incentive to leave the house today.

I Left the House Today is a collection of comics on regular, relatable, day to day occurrences. This ranges across the seasons from feeling exhaustion, jubilation when you realise a dress has pockets, boobs and bra problems, and the one I loved – when you have eaten a yogurt and wake up in a cold sweat much later on in bed, thinking did I put the yogurt pot in the bin and the spoon in the sink or did I put the yogurt pot in the sink and the spoon in the bin? The comics were a joy and made me chuckle.

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

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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