Book Review

Book Review: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

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Madeline has a rare disease. She is allergic to the world. One step outside, one germ that creeps in, could lead to her death. All her life she has lived inside her house, in the bubble of safety that her mother provides for her. She receives online tuition and has 1:1 medical care from her nurse. Madeline has spent her time dreaming about what the outside world is like, having never experienced true friendship, love, or any traditional coming-of-age experiences. Her only friend is her mom.

Her world starts to become claustraphobic when Olly moves in to the house across the road. He is the definition of dreamy and mysterious. Olly and Madeline strike up a friendship, miming to each other from their windows, and eventually use IM to get to know each other a little better. What Madeline finds is that Olly makes her feel like there is so much more to life than staying safe. His quirky, flippant attitude rubs off on her and she is drawn to him in ways that she has never experienced before. What will Madeline do to prevent the ‘what-ifs’? Will she play it safe, or will she risk it all for the sake of living life to the full?

If I’m totally honest, I was disappointed with this book. I first came across this book in a newsletter from Oprah’s Book Club and took a screen shot of it so that when I went looking for a new book I’d keep my eye out for it. I mean, if Oprah recommends it it has to be good, right?

It was a very easy read, and it was pleasant, but I felt that it was far too obvious. I felt that I knew very early on what the outcome of the book would be and I was right. It may have just been far too light for my liking, but as Young Adult books go I wasn’t too impressed. It is due to be released as a movie this summer and even though the book didn’t do much for me, I can see why it would have cinematic appeal.

The book does have the underlying message of ‘Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway’ but it felt like a bit of a cop out. I felt that the story had a lot of potential and the way that it ended – as initially predicted within the first few pages – was extremely disappointing. I don’t think that this is a book I would recommend. It felt as though the narrative took the easy road. And, if I’m completely honest, I’m hoping that the filmmakers take artistic liberty to change the ending to make it a much more compelling and believable story. I feel like that is harsh criticism, but unfortunately I cannot help but feel disappointed in it.

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2.5 stars

Book Review

Book Review: The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain

Book Review (3)

Riley McPherson is a 26 year old woman who has lived her life under the shadow of her sister’s suicide. Riley, who was only two when her sister died, cannot remember her fully and when she is given charge of clearing out her father’s house after his death, she finds a box of newspaper articles that show her a completely different side to Lisa.  Riley starts to uncover a family secret that shatters her life to pieces and leaves her wondering if she even knows who she is. Who was Lisa McPherson; was she really dead; and who could Riley really trust anymore?

This was my first time reading a Diane Chamberlain novel and I didn’t know what to expect. I was a bit sceptical at first because I have this thing about authors who write lots of books; I automatically assume that they’re not going to be great books (an awful assumption of me, I know!) However, I was proved wrong. Yes, parts of the book were very predictable, and I did at times feel as though it was all a bit too ‘obvious’, but I really enjoyed the journey that this book took me on. I honestly believed that I had the whole thing sussed after the first two chapters. I thought I knew who the enemies were, who Riley needed to put her trust in, and what had really happened to Lisa.

However, at 1am this morning I found out that a lot of what I had hypothesized was false! Even though I do consider this book to be an ‘easy read’ I really enjoyed it. The characters felt real to me and I even got goosebumps on a few occasions! I did not see the plot twist coming at all – something that I’m usually quite good at foretelling – so that was something that really impressed me! I found it impossible to not care about Riley and her family, and I felt compelled to pick up the book and find out what was going to unfold next.

The book made me consider the concept of family and what we will do for one another. It made me think about how much I love my family and consider just how far I would go for them. Overall I found this book to be a very enjoyable read and am very grateful for the recommendation!

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4/5 stars!

Have you read many of Diane Chamberlain’s novels? If so, what one do you recommend I read next? I’d love to get some advice!

Cx

 

The Sunday Currently

The Sunday Currently #2


R E A D I N G

The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck by Sarah Knight, The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick, and My Life Goals Journal by Andrea Hayes 

W R I T I N G

Ok! So I’ve started the book My Life Goals Journal by Andrea Hayes and it’s a journal where you really have to sit down and think about yourself and the goals you want to set! 


Yesterday I bought myself a new writing journal (as if I really needed another one) and I sat down to work on the first few tasks in the book. I’ve made lists about the type of person I feel I am; e.g., a teacher, a sister, a daughter…etc. And I’ve written down where I would like to see myself this time next year. My next task is to write down the words I want to identify with! I am happiness, I am fun, I am successful! I’m excited to see how this book impacts my life! It’s not just a once off book, it’s a year long project and I’m seriously excited about it! 

L I S T E N I N G

I’ve been listening to Liz Gilbert’s podcast Big Magic, very encouraging and inspirational! I can’t wait to get my hands on the book and get myself psyched up to write my first novel! 

S M E L L I N G

Smoked Bacon! Someone is cooking and it smells amazing! 

H O P I N G

That I get back on track for Slimming World! I’ve been very off track the last two weeks so I need to get my mojo back and get rid of the extra pounds! 

W E A R I N G

My Law of Attraction top and tracksuit bottoms! Such lovely positive loungewear! 

L O V I N G

Today! It’s been such a lovely Sunday!  

W A N T I N G

A sun holiday! How amazing is this; a friend of mine won a sun holiday worth €1300 the other day… her boyfriend had won the exact same prize just two weeks earlier! Absolutely phenomenal! 

N E E D I N G

 For someone to cook for me! Today has been a total veg day!  We’ve played three games of Scrabble! My brain  is absolutely fried after it and I have zero energy for cooking dinner! 

F E E L I N G

Very chilled out and also very in control of my life! Even though I am totally overwhelmed with work and other commitments, I feel like the books I’m reading are very much keeping my head above water! 

W A T C H I N G

We’ve watched Hacksaw Ridge, Moana, and Storks all whilst playing scrabble. Of all three movies I must say I enjoyed Storks the most! I’m a huge war movie fan and even though Hacksaw Ridge was good,  and Andrew Garfield gave an outstanding performance, as a whole I thought it was only ok! 

Until next Sunday!

C x 

Book Review

Review: The Spinning Heart by Donal Ryan

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As an Irish twenty-something, I am ashamed to admit that I’m not too fond of Irish authors. A friend of mine has often admonished me, asking me why I won’t read Irish authors when I’m hoping to become one myself someday. Luckily, I’ve started to change my opinion as of late. I’ve discovered some Irish authors that I like and admire and have managed to find authors who take a giant leap away from the “diddly-idle” and “oldies and Irish” style of Irish fiction. Donal Ryan is one such author.

Being honest, The Spinning Heart is a book I had to read. Not because I wanted to, but because I’ve had to teach it. Never in a million years would I have picked up this book and read it because I really wanted to. This is one of the joys of teaching. Without having to read this I would never have discovered this piece of literary art! So, lets get down to the nitty-gritty and jump into my very first book review!!!!

Book: The Spinning Heart
Author: Donal Ryan
Year: 2012
Publisher: Doubleday Ireland

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The Spinning Heart is one of the most brutally honest books I’ve read that takes place in modern day Ireland. Set during the recession of 2008. we are immersed in tragic Limerick where a town is trying to  cope with their newfound misery. Each chapter is narrated by a different character; each with their own unique voice, each with their own story to tell. The characters range from a bereaved mother, to the daughter of the very disliked builder-gone-bust. We meet a character with serious mental illnesses, a devout wife, and an abusive father. Their stories are gripping, their pain very real. While the novel has many different narrators, each character has one thing in common; Bobby Mahon. Bobby was the foreman on the building site and has somehow influenced each of the characters that we meet in this book. He is a friendly character who is always willing to help anyone out; as Jason tells us,

“Bobby done that turn for fellas that was as good as strangers to him and looked for nothing back and nearly made it sound like it was us doing him a favour”

However, Bobby finds himself at the end of some very serious accusations as the novel progresses.

The Spinning Heart is definitely a book I’m glad to have read. For me, it started out slow. I was unsure how I felt about it until I was about three to four chapters in. After that I was hooked. I just wanted to find out what was happening!  I’m very glad that all the pieces of the jigsaw fit together at the end! I would like to stress how accurately Donal Ryan portrays the disheartened citizens of Ireland who were ‘done over’ during the recession. As a young person in Ireland today, often struggling to make ends meet in a country where wages are low and prices are rising, I felt that I could relate to the sense of disappointment that these characters expressed. The knock on effect of the recession is still in full swing and I was impressed to read something that captured the real Ireland of the 21st Century in such an honest way.

My rating:
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Is this a book that you have read or are thinking of reading? Drop a comment below and let me know!

C x