Review: Thirteen Reasons Why – Jay Asher

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Imagine receiving a package in the mail. You’d be happy right, imagining what it could be? So then you open it up and discover a box full of cassette tapes, each labelled from 1 through to 13. This parcel has no return address on it so you have no idea who sent you this random box of cassettes of all things. You hunt around you house for a cassette player, and if that was me I can tell you I wouldn’t have had one, but you manage to find one and insert the tape and the side that is labelled 1 and press play. That’s when you hear it. You hear the voice of the girl who has recently killed herself talking to you. Now what do you do?. . .

Now this is what happens to Clay Jensen, who arrives home from school one day and discovers a parcel with his name on it, which turns out to be a box of cassette tapes, which were recorded by Hannah Baker. In these tapes, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she has, or is going to (depending on how you want to look at it), kill herself, that’s why there are thirteen tapes. If you receive these tapes, then you are one of the reasons and one of the people that are to blame for her doing this, and now Clay has received these tapes.

I heard about this book from a Book Tuber after seeing a Book Haul video and I heard a brief sum up of what the book was about, I instantly knew that I had to read it. This book is told from  both Clay and Hannah’s point of view, but it is told from two different platforms, which was quite an interesting, especially as they are both the main characters. We have Hannah’s perspective, which is told through the thirteen tapes and more in the past tense, whereas we have we also have Clays perspective, which is his reaction to those tapes, with the world and interactions around him and is in present tense. So we have both of these timelines, these different medias and so on, all coming together and combined to tell this story, and it actually works.

When it comes to the story, suicide is such a sensitive subject, that it is always going to be received in either a positive or negative way, because people may be able to relate to this topic and is therefore a subject that is close to them. I choose to read this book, at what turned out to be a very sensitive time in my families life, which we had sadly already had to previously deal with at a previous time. So when I was reading this book, it was becoming more personal to me because of this. As I was reading this book I really was enjoying this story and appreciating what the author was trying to do with this book. The more I read, the more I really got into the book. I didn’t want to stop reading the book until I was finished, as I wanted to know every reason, who was next, every little detail.

I felt bad for Hannah, but even more so for Clay. I felt so bad for Clay and then I started to strongly dislike Hannah, because of her doing this to him, as he couldn’t do anything about it now as it’s too late. The more that I thought about it, the more I thought about why was Hannah doing all this? She kind of turned around and turned into the bully in the end, even though only a few people will know the truth, Hannah knows herself that it only takes a few people to make you start to fell horrible and for things to escalate. I know the intention was there for them to know the reasons behind why she did what she did, but why not write a letter to just that person, or send a tape to just that person? Because then they could still hide. They could still pretend they did nothing and not change, but if people know then you’re more inclined to change. Those are the only reasons I can think of. And then the amount of effort that’s gone into planning everything, the amount of time, just doesn’t speak to me realistic. I know people who have tried to commit suicide, both friends and family, who have all said that once they knew they knew, and they just went for it. They wouldn’t have spent time making and recording cassette tapes, making lists of people they were to be sent to and so on, but maybe this is just my personal experience. At the beginning, Hannah had decided everything and knew who the thirteen people, or thirteen reasons were, but towards the end it seems like the thirteenth person and reason got added on after this whole thing got started, and I don’t want to give away spoilers by going further into this by explaining to much.

This book does only look at a little closed up section of suicide, and I can understand some of the bad reviews I have read, because there is a much wider and broader area of suicide and depression. This is suicide from the angle of a girl who has had, what she classes as some bad times, which has been escalating and building, “snowballing” on top of each other, to the point where she sees no other way out. Where she feels like she has nobody left in her life that she can trust, or that she can confide and talk to. This book made me realise, even more so, how little things can be turned into something so gigantic and can escalate into something else. How a rumour that’s not true, when you laugh at something because everyone else laughs, but it’s at somebody else’s expense, can really have an affect on somebody. How simply saying something friendly to someone and saying hi to them can make a difference to them and how they feel and can benefit other people in a positive way. There are also several suicide warning signs explained in this book, which is a good idea when you know people in your life or come across people in your life who might be suffering. After reading this book, it makes you look at yourself a little bit more and makes you realise how much your actions do have an affect on people. Hopefully, more people will read this book and take a closer look at their actions and think about how they should change, because I know some people who definitely can change their attitudes and behaviour towards people.

Clays part of the story felt more realistic to me and his character made me feel way more emotional and I was able to relate more to him, than to anybody else. His reactions and how emotional he got at things that he couldn’t change, but so badly wishes that he could. He seems like the only person who would actually take anything from these tapes and will use them positively and benefit from listening. He will get answers and reasons behind why she did what she did, even if it’s upsetting and hurts emotionally at the time. He will get to know and have all of the answers he was desperately wanting, even if he can’t change anything that had happened and now has to live with that consequence.

I would definitely recommend this book, if nothing else, it will absolutely open your eyes and make you look at the world, at people differently and at yourself differently. I so wish that I could have given this book a full five stars but I just couldn’t, so I am giving this book 4 stars out of 5, which a definite recommendation.

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Review: Little Women part.1 – Louisa May Alcott 

*****

Over the course of my Book-A-Thon, I completed one of my goals and read a book that I have been reading and putting aside for a while, and that book is Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. Now let’s see what Goodreads description of this book has to say;
“The timeless tale of four sisters – Meg, Jo, Amy and Beth – experiencing both hardship and adventure in Civil War New England. Though the March family may be poor, their lives are rich with colour, as they play games, put on wild theatricals, make new friends, argue, grapple with their vices, learn from their mistakes, nurse each other through sickness and disappointments, and get into all sorts of trouble. In this simple, enthralling tale, Louisa May Alcott created four of American literature’s most beloved “little women”.”

This description both sums up the book, but there is also so much more to this book. There is so much more to the characters, to the story, that this description is like a little teaser trailer before you dive in and read the book. 

I will admit right now, that my copy was part one, which I didn’t know until after I had finished reading the book, and this big spoiler that I was aware of that happens, although I didn’t know which character it happened to, didn’t happen! I assumed I had heard wrong or who I had heard it from was wrong, so I ended up talking about it with my boyfriend and googling it, and luckily my boyfriend took my phone off my and Googled and looked for me. He told me my copy was only part one and I didn’t have the completed version, that I needed to buy Good Wives to continue reading part 2 and that spoiler does happen. You still with me? But luckily, I have like 11 copies of Little Women, so I do have a completed unabridged version, so now I don’t have to buy the second part. So that is why this review is for Part 1 only.

I really enjoyed this book, and the reason I picked this book to read is for a silly reason, because of an episode of friends, long ago! Ever since then it’s been on my list of books to read. I’m so glad that it has been and that I have finally read this book, even if I’ve only read part 1 so far. The characters are the most interesting aspects when reading this book, as even though the four of them are sisters, they each clearly have their own personalities. You have Meg, the eldest, Jo the boyish one, Beth the shy and quietest one and Amy the youngest. I do have my favourites of course, but I’m choosing not to admit those, as my favourite also ends up dying and I’m always left in heartache. 

The story starts around Christmas Day, with the four “Little Women” deciding what was going to be happening with Christmas Day and with their money, deciding to spend it to treat their mother with Christmas gifts. We learn that their Father is away fighting in the war, so it down to their mother and the girls, whom some have jobs and earn their own money. This book ends, part 1, on Christmas Day, I think one year past, so this whole book takes place over the place of a year. During the course of this story, you get to see so many changes between the characters and so much happens during the course of a year. 

I am so glad that I have read and finally completed this book. Now I am definitely going to have to read Part 2, or better known as Good Wives now, which I believe takes place 3 years after the end of Part 1. This could be wrong. This is why I need to write reviews straight after reading the book and not do a Book-A-Thon and read like 4/5 other books after the book and write the review a week later. Sorry. 

I would definitely recommend this book and highly recommend that you try and get the complete unabridged version or buy both Little Women and Good Wives at the same time, otherwise you may be left devastated that you’ve got to wait for Part 2!!! 5 out of 5 stars.

Have you read Little Women? What’s your thoughts? Have you read both parts? Did you go further and read Little Men and Jo’s Boy’s? Comment Below ☺ 

Review: Sing – Vivi Greene

Sing*** (3.5 Stars)

I received an eARC of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review of this book.

Have you ever been in love and then gone through and suffered a devastating break-up from the person who you loved so much, having your heart shattered? Now imagine being one of Americas biggest pop stars, like Lily Ross, with everybody’s eyes on you, watching your every move. No privacy to properly get over this devastating break-up, with everyone trying to see and be the first and to get the juicy story. So what do you do? You get your best girly friends and get away from it all for the summer. You go to a place that is a little less “Celebrity”, and go to a place that will just remind you of happy memories, and maybe even create some great new ones and maybe even find some inspiration and help to write some new songs. But this summer turns out different to how Lily intended, and by the end of summer, she has a decision to make. . .

I chose to request this book to read from Netgalley as I wanted something a little bit light and summery to read, and something slightly different from my usual type of books and this just sounded ideal. This book was definitely a good pick and fitted those two categories nicely. What makes this book fit more into those two categories, is both its writing and its content.

At the beginning of this book, I have to admit that I first found it hard to get into this book, and found the writing a little underwhelming. But the more I was reading this book, and the more I got into this book, the more I started to enjoy both the book and the way that it was written. It was both quick and easily written, kind of basic, which is perfect and ideal for summer, beach or holiday reading. I was able to sit and read this book within two day, and that’s with me having important appointments and physiotherapy, and being able to still fully enjoy this book. It was really nice having such a light and fresh book, but it did have its very own content, which also kept me gripped to this book.

We get to see the relationships between Lily and her friends, who have been friends since childhood; so before the fame. But we also get to see how her fame and stardom may have affected all three of their lives, as her friends do work for her, as they then get to spend and see each other constantly, but is that always a good thing? We get to see the relationship between Lily and her ex and her new summer romance, and how each of these men, change Lily and make her see the world and herself differently. We also get to see other characters, and my favourite has to be one that wasn’t in the book much, which was No els little sister Sidney. Ironically, I also have a little sister Cydney, but that’s not the reason why. I just felt like there was so so much more with this character, backround and depth and there was even humor, which was great, even more so because she wasn’t in the book that much. Definitely my favourite and I wanted more of her. Even her and Lilys interactions were heartfelt and gave up more understanding about Lilys past.

This book and the whole story in its entirety is told from Lily Ross’ characters perspective. We get to see everything that happens that summer, through Lily’s eyes; from just after after the break up and the aftermath of that, to the summer escape with the girls, to meeting a new man, and everything else that happens that summer. We get your typical surprise summer romance, especially after an heartache and promising be alone and swear off men and love. I don’t want to give away too many spoilers, but I actually did enjoy this book and I did find myself wondering what she was going to do, as I was really into the book and the story. There is something stopping me from giving this book a full 4 stars, maybe it’s because it’s a bit basic and light for me, but that’s because it’s a Young Adult, Contemporary read and ideal for some Summer and Holiday reading. But it is better that a 3 stars, so that’s why I’m going inbetween and giving this book a 3.5 stars out of 5.

Now when it comes to recommending this book, it definietly depends on your type of book. If you’re in the mood for a light, holiday, summer read, then this book would be perfect. But if you want something a little bit more, then I would recommend picking something else.

Have you read this book? What are your thoughts? Agree or disagree? Comment below 😀

Fun fact: It’s believed that this book is about Taylor Swift. From what I’ve read from other people’s reviews and things of this book. Check some out and see what you think. The cover definitely adds to that theory. Or is cleverly picked by the author to make it looked that way in order to sell more copies as people, especially teenagers and Taylor Swift fans, will be more inclined to buy this book. What are your thoughts? 


 

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: Everything, Everything – Nicola Yoon

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**** (4.5 stars)

This is a book about a girl named Maddy, who has to live her life in a bubble, unable to leave the house as she is allergic to the world. She has classes taught to her online, reads, reads and reads some more and watches the world pass by her outside her bedroom window, a world that she can’t be apart of. The only people she is actually in contact with are her mum, her nurse Carla and her tutor, all whom which have to be tested first to ensure they have nothing that cane be passed along to Maddie and infect her, then they have to be decontamanated before entering the house. Even her house has special air fiers for Maddies own protection. Maddy had accepted this, until a new family moves in next door, then everything changes…

Let me first start off by saying that I really wanted to give this book a massive 5 star rating, but I sadly had to take off half a star because of how Nicola came about creating the ending which was a disappointment to me. And I emphasise to me because other people may enjoy and like the way this book ends. That is why I couldn’t give this book the 5 stars I so desperately wanted to and planned on giving it, before I got to that part.

I loved this book and it was a very easy and quick to read and also hard for me to put down. The way the chapters are all set up and written, the drawings and illustrations included, was why this book was so easy, fun and such an enjoyable book. The chapters are short and the layout of this book and how its presented is so different and unique. This is one of the few books that actually made me laugh out loud while reading it, while also being emotional at times.

There are spoilers to other books included so beware in case you want to read those books, as Maddy is a massive reader! What else is there to do when you’re stuck inside all the time? Kind of made me jealous of all the books she read. I know that’s bad right?. Anyways, she does a book review tumbler site where she post spoilers, so beware! It does say spoiler before it, so there is some warning.

I was just a little disappointed by the ending, which from other reviews, I can see that I am not the only one. It reminds me of a film I’ve seen, which I’m not going to say because it may spoil it for people and I hate spoilers. But other than that, I loved it. I even read the acknowledgment and thought it was amazing that Nicola wrote the book and that her husband David created the illustrations within this book, which is amazing :D!!

I definitely recommend this book and have already lent it out to friends!! 4.5 out of 5 stars, just short of being 5. I even argued with myself and even considered still giving this book 5 because of how much I enjoyed it, but then compromised by giving it 4.5, because it’s definitely better than four stars.

Have you read this book? What do you think? Do you agree or disagree? Comment below 😀

Review: Char – Kristina Wojtaszek

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I received a free copy of this book from World Weaver Press publications on behalf of the author, in exchange of a honest review of the book.

Quite simply put, this is a fantasy book, loosely based around the Witch from the fairy-tale of Hansel and Gretel, but believe me when I say, it’s not what you’re expecting. The books description from the publisher is…

“Fire is never tame—least of all the flames of our own kindling.

Raised in isolation by the secretive Circle of Seven, Luna is one of the few powerful beings left in a world dominated by man. Versed in ancient fairy tales and the language of plants, Luna struggles to control her powers over fire. When her mentor dies in Luna’s arms, she is forced into a centuries-long struggle against the gravest enemy of all Fae-kind—the very enemy that left her orphaned. In order to save her people, Luna must rewrite their history by entering a door in the mountain and passing back through time. But when the lives of those she loves come under threat, her rage destroys a forest, and everything in it. Now called The Char Witch, she is cursed to live alone, her name and the name of her people forgotten.
Until she hears a knock upon her long-sealed door.

Interwoven with elements of Hansel and Gretel and The Seven Ravens, Char is the stand alone sequel to Opal, and second in the Fae of Fire and Stone trilogy.”

This is my first ever fairy-tale retelling book that I have ever read, so I went into reading this book with high expectations, not knowing how these retellings go, intrigued at how they were going to do this with the Witch, Luna, from Hansel and Gretel. You don’t really hear much from the fairy-tale, a few pages at the most, the rest is about Lunas back round and how she got to where she was. You see her with a new set of eyes and the tale eyes differently, which it would do, being a retelling, with even Hansel and Gretel having slightly different names.

This is the second book in the Fae of Fire and Stone Trilogy, but it can be read as a stand alone book, as that is how I read it and I was able to read this book no problem and I don’t think that I missed out on anything. I would’ve liked to have read the first on Opal first, for obvious reasons, especially because we meet the character Opal in this book and it did make me wonder whether I would’ve had a better understanding. I really wish that I did read the first book Opal first, even though this is said to be a stand alone, I still believe that it may have given me a better understanding to the world that this book was set in, plus I hate reading books out of order, especially now that I want to read this book.

It did end kind of suddenly and abruptly for my liking as I wanted to find out more and left me with questions, just like Luna had herself. Questions like, why now after all this time? Which never got answered and as each book is based on a new character, I’m not expecting it to be answered. This book starts at the end, which means that you know how part of it is going to end and you are waiting for that to happen.

If you’re into fantasy and fairy-tale retellings, then you are going to enjoy this book. I would suggest reading this trilogy in order because even though this can be read as a stand alone, you do meet the character Opal, which is the name of the first book, and if you then want to read the rest of the trilogy, things may get spoiled. It may also help you to get into the world in which this tale is told a lot more easier. Like a fairy-tale, inside a fairy-tale. I’m giving it a 4 out of 5 stars because I do want to read the rest of the books in the trilogy, hopefully understand the world these books are set in a little better.

Have you read this book, or any of this trilogy? Do you agree or disagree? Comment below your thoughts 😀