Review: In The Dark, In The Woods – Eliza Wass

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I received this book, signed from the author as part of the Goodreads Giveaway Win!! However, this is not going to affect my review, as it will be 100% honest and unbiased, just like all of my reviews.

This book is told from the point of view of Castley Cresswell, one of six siblings, being raised dominantly by their heavily religious and controlling Father. Castley is beginning to question and doubt what she has been told for the whole of her life, starting to want a normal life like everyone else. She wants a future and friends. She doesn’t want to marry her own brother, in Heaven. She wants to live!

I was greatly surprised with this book! When I first started reading it and first read about all of the religious aspects in this book, I was instantly turned off, but there was something about this book that just kept me hooked. All I can say is that I’m so glad that I kept reading. The way and how this book was told and from the perspective it was told from, was brilliant! It was a different way to tell this kind of story in and this form of religious form of child abuse, where the child doesn’t even realise that they have been suffering any form of abuse, until they’ve grown up and by then it may be too late. This was because everything in their life seemed normal to them, even being told that it’s God’s plan, if they are running low on food and are practically starving, being punished for their sins and so on.

I loved the fact it was told through Castley’s perspective, through the eyes of a sixteen year old girl. That we get to see the inside of her mind, her thoughts, her actions and what triggers her with her beliefs and how they adapt. It was great because you never really get to hear or see this type of story or experience told or expressed from the child, or children’s point of view. We even get glimpses of what or how the other siblings are thinking or feeling, but that’s just through what they are saying, so whether they are true emotions or answers, we never truly know. They could just be saying that out of fear of their father. As they believe and fear, as they are told, that their Father and God are virtually the same and if not, they speak to each other.

There were things and questions that were left unanswered that did leave me disappointed. It would make sense if Eliza Wass was planning on writing a sequel to this book and then those questions could be answered. I didn’t like the sudden change with George at the end, which seemed rushed. I didn’t like the fact there wasn’t a conclusion with the father at the end, which again would be good if Eliza was planning on writing a sequel. Now here’s a somewhat spoiler, so skip the next part if you don’t want to be spoiled: *Where did the second Casper from? That was never answered! Did they have another kid? Did they kidnap a kid? Please explain. That’s my biggest problem*

I read this book in two sittings while on my holiday and thoroughly enjoyed it, and I’m so glad that I wan it because it wouldn’t have been something that I would have usually have picked up because of the strong religious element. I really loved it and really hope that there is a sequel because I would love to have answers to some of the questions, especially my questions about Caspar!. I’m glad I have a new author to look out for and to follow now. I definitely would recommend this book highly. A very good read and it did make me think. I’m also so glad that I have a signed copy of this book!!! YAY!!
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I would defiantly recommend this book and it gives an insight into a world that you may not have otherwise have had. This is why i love reading!! That’s why I have given this book a massive 4 out of 5 stars and would’ve given it 5, if I wasn’t left with questions. A brilliant breakout debut novel.

Click Here: My Goodreads Giveaway Win! (In The Dark, In The Woods – Eliza Wass) For more information on this book.

Review: Paper Butterflies – Lisa Heatherfield

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*****
I would like to thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to reading this eARC in exchange for an honest and unbiased review of this book.

Goodreads desciption of this book is:
“June’s life at home with her stepmother and stepsister is a dark one – and a secret one. She is trapped like a butterfly in a net.
But then June meets Blister, a boy in the woods. In him she recognises the tiniest glimmer of hope that perhaps she can find a way to fly far, far away from her home and be free. Because every creature in this world deserves their freedom . . . But at what price?
Paper Butterflies is an unforgettable read, perfect for fans of Jennifer Niven, Jandy Nelson, Sarah Crossan and Louise O’Neill.”

I have had a lot of feelings towards this book, which actually led me to write one of my discussion posts a few days ago, about whether or not books should have age restrictions or warnings put on them. This book turned out to have alot of graphic scenes that were based around a sensitive topic, child abuse. The child abuse that was suffered in this book were physical, mental and emotional child abuse, so thankfully there was no sexual child abuse suffered on top of all that. I know that the description indicates a dark home life, but I didn’t realise how vivid and graphic some of the scenes were going to be and as a reader, it genuinely made me feel uncomfortable reading about them. At least at first.

The book is being told and written from June’s point of view, the young girl who is suffering abuse both in her home life and while in school from bullies. I believe that the bullying in school is because of the abuse that she suffered at home, which purposely made her an easy target for bullies. You get to hear June’s thoughts about everything, to feel how she feels and hear everything that happens to her and how she is suffering. It’s almost as though everything is happening to you. It makes this book all that much more personal and emotional. You therefore get the best character development and connection with June. You also get to see that as June grows up, the age and writing grows up with her, which is done brilliantly.

June has this one bit of happiness in her life, away from all the abuse and bullying, but she has to keep it separate from everything and everyone who knows her. She mets this boy, Blister, one day in the forest and even though he may be a stranger, he is the only person who is nice to her. He likes her for her, just like she likes him for who he is. They become instant friends. June mets Blisters family, Mr and Mrs Wick, who have seven children, including Blister, who come to also love June. June starts to spend more time at the Wicks household, and she learns to separate herself, keeping hold of that happiness while everything else is happening to her. Never telling anyone of her secret life. Never letting them risk destroying that as well. Never telling the Wicks or anyone else of the misery that she is suffering. Afraid they won’t believe her, or afraid that something worse may happen.

This book is one of the few books that actually made me cry and just made me an emotional mess, right up until the end. There is so much emotion in this book that it just screamed out of every page of the book and had me in tears. There just seemed like there was so much truth and even though I didn’t want to read it, that’s what made it so real. It just pulled on the heart strings and was so thought provoking and it is definitely a book that’s going to stay with me for a while. Even though I wanted to turn and run after the first few pages, I am so glad that I stuck with it and read it all the way through. It’s because of the book in its entirety, that’s why I’m rating it so highly.

There was a note from the publisher saying that “this book contains adult themes”, which maybe isn’t a clear enough of a warning for what’s in this book, but there is a warning. I was therefore shocked when I discovered that one of the genres this book is classed under is Children’s Fiction.

I am giving this book a very well and massively deserved 5 out of 5 stars! Now where are my tissues at… 😥 😥

Review: Wonder – R. J. Palacio

*****

Spoilers!!

This book took me by complete surprise as I honestly didn’t expect too enjoy it, thinking that it was aiming more towards a younger audience. The thing I liked best about this book, which I didn’t expect, was that it isn’t just written from Auggies point of view and showing how his life is only affected. Throughout the book we get to see things from his friends point of views, his sister’s and even his sisters friends point of view and is something that I really liked reading. I loved reading the chapters that were written from his sister’s point of view especially and how it all affected her life in so many ways. How she felt left out and neglected, how she was just starting a new school at the beginning of the book where nobody knew who herself or Auggie were and she wanted to keep it that way because for once she finally able to create her own identity. I started really enjoying her chapters more than auggies sadly and I really hope that they release a book that is just based on her point of view because that would be amazing.

We then got to see how everyday things that we all take for granted and even complain about, never wanting to do, can be a massive problem for a 10 year old boy who has on simple difference from other children his age, such as going to school. We see discrimination at its biggest form and sadly we can’t just say it’s from the children, which is where this book was in its truest form. The parents of the school children were one of the biggest culprits in this book towards poor Auggie, photoshopping him out of photos so their kids wouldn’t have to be associated with him, not explaining to their children and allowing their children to continue bullying Auggie after being told of the events. Making it worse, the parents blame Auggie and the head teacher for the bullying, for allowing Auggie to be kept in the school after numerous protests, and then the parents finally put together a community to try and kick Auggie out of their school because of his deformity. Yepp. The adults in this book are the biggest bullies.

What makes the bullying worse in this book, is that you have this very sweet, polite boy, so when you have someone pick on him, whether its a child, a remark from an adult or how because of how of how somebody looked at his face, it makes it all worse. You see some strong friendships, some betrayals, sadness, very strong bullying, death, and its told from several peoples point of views.

This is the exactly the type of book that should be taught or at least read and disgust at schools because the ending teaches children to be more accepting and tolent towards children and other people in general, that are not the same as themselves. It is a brilliant book and I highly highly recommend it!! 5 out of 5 stars!.