Hot Milk By Deborah Levy

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Title: Hot Milk

Author: Deborah Levy

Rating: 3/5 stars

Page Count: 218 pages

Genre: Fiction, Literary Fiction, Contemporary

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27866173-hot-milk

Synopsis:

Hot Milk is the story of a girl Sophia who has an almost invalid mother who has taken over life. So they travel to Almeria in Spain where the Gomez Clinic resides to cure her mother of her paralysis in her legs. It follows Sophia’s anthropological journey through her time in Spain assessing her life.

 

If you are looking for a spoiler-free review her is one I did on my YouTube channel:

Spoiler Free Review

 

Favourite Quote:

On page 51 it is a dialogue between Rosa who is Sophia’s mother and the head of the Gomez Clinic Dr Gomez at lunch discussing her ex-husband. I really liked this quote as was full of witty comedy on how her ex-husband left her for a younger woman.

Style of Writing:

The interesting point is at most of the start of the chapters there was a snippet of writing that it was an interesting addition but ultimately I did not see the point. Her style was simple and quite descriptive which I enjoyed as it made the book more of a critique of her life than the story of her mother’s legs. I really liked the detached narration of Sophia.

Themes:

The theme of family is the main element of this book and assessing how important it is to people. The family dynamic within Sophia’s family showed the effects of modern-day life and was very relatable. The element of lesbian love interest was a clear representation of how complicated it can be if it is a new experience for people. It read as a respectful representation.

Characters:

My favourite character would have to be Mr Gomez he is such fun and intriguing with great wit. I felt so sorry for him at the end. I liked Sophia she was relatable to me especially because of her young age. However, I did find her irritating in the middle as she was not fully developed. I didn’t like Ingrid for me she had too many agendas as a character and was such a confusing person. In terms of Rosa the mother by the end I think she just needed a wake up call and was such a burden even to the story that you kinda hated her.

My Thoughts:

This book was an interesting read in terms of it being basically an anthropological study of her life and cultural memory. However, the story as such was anticlimactic in terms of it didn’t develop anywhere as in Sophia’s mother’s illness or Sophia’s life. The ending was disappointing as the second last paragraph had some meaning but then it ended with a sentence on a jellyfish which I believe was not needed. Overall, though intriguing I did not enjoy it due to its lack of direction. I believe this book is more catered towards those who enjoy a complex literary read.

 

If you have read this book let me know what you think down below in the comments!

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Lazarus Vol 1 Review

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from Goodreads

Title: Lazarus Vol 1

Author: Greg Rucka

Illustrator: Michael Lark

Publisher: Image Comics

Genre: Action, Thriller, Dystopian, Comics

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18259637-lazarus-vol-1?ac=1&from_search=true

Rating: 4/5 stars

Synopsis:

Lazarus is about a women Forever who is a robot in the service of the Carlyle family. The Carlyle family has a rival family in this dystopian world who is the Morray family. There is an attack at the Carlyle base but who is really behind the attack?

Here is my Spoiler free review:

https://youtu.be/Eyrl98gIFlQ

SPOILERS NOW!

My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed this comic it is a high energy action comic with twists and turns that will keep wondering where the mystery lies. The plot was intense and a great pace for an action comic. The concept of a dystopian was interesting that we would revert to family that holds us together I would think it would be violence but I’m a synic. It was a bit of a anticlimatic start but so good by the middle.

Artwork:

It is mostly a dark palette which shows the dystopian side to the story with lots of black outlining that gave a serious tone to the comic. I feel like Lazarus could have been slightly brighter only because I would have liked to have some hope but its dystopian so. I really liked the use of purple in the chapter 3 and 4 it made it look beautiful.

Dialogue:

There is not much dialogue in the comic which is good because the storyline centres on violence attached to this world. The dialogue between the family is very typical and relatable with lots of drama which I love.

Favourite Character:

Forever is badass and interesting character because she has empathy like a real person and her connection to the family intrigues me. Also she has this relationship with the other family’s robot which interesting see how different they are and how much humanity influences them as characters. I really like her history and want to know and about her purpose to the family.

Hate Character:

Jonah mainly because he is such an ignorant asshole and such a typical son wants to take over the business but there was a lot of characters are like that but that might change. Another reason I didn’t like him is his conspiracy with his other sister it was creepy and made me hate me more.

If you have read Lazarus or want to read it please feel free to comment below I would love to know your thoughts!

 

See How They Lie by Sue Wallman – Review

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from Goodreads

Title: See How They Lie

Author: Sue Wallman

Rating: 5/5 stars

Page Count: 320 pages

Genre: YA, Thriller

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34382011-see-how-they-lie

Synopsis:

It is about a girl called Mae Ballard who lives in Hummingbird Creek which her father set up. Hummingbird Creek is a wellness resort for teenagers. As Mae is getting older she is starting to question her life and Hummingbird Creek things start to spiral out of control. So will she lead a normal life?

If you are looking for a spoiler-free review her is one I did on my YouTube channel:

Spoiler Free Review

SPOILERS COMING

Favourite Quote:

My favourite quote from this book is right at the end of the book where they are rallying against Hummingbird Creek on page 305:

‘Will’s words come back to me. Maybe you don’t understand how tightly some of us bond here.

I loved this quote cause is inspirational and I am sucker for inspirational quotes plus its such an emotional part in the book.

Style of Writing:

I loved her style of writing it was simple but very effective when it came to the suspenseful parts especially at the end of the book the climax had you on the edge of your seat. The thriller aspect of the book is still very much there which sometimes you tend to loose it when its in the YA genre. I really like the way it was written as if Mae is writing the story but she is detached from the story until the end, it gave the book a mysterious quality to it.

Themes:

The theme of mental health within children and to an extent adults was done with respect and in an educating way. In terms of violence within YA Thrillers I think is the most challenging thing to do and done perfectly here, just the right amount of violence. The themes of friendship were interesting as everyone had a completely different relationship to Mae. My favourite was between Noah and Mae also Thet and Mae because they were liberating friendships for Mae.

Characters:

Mae was my favourite character as she was a character that constantly questioned her life and society not only that but she had this spirit that I just loved about her such a great character. In terms od boys I didn’t like Drew he just so annoyed me the way he acted I found him quite selfish. But Noah I loved him; he was so kind and understanding you just felt like saying ‘you go Noah!’ Thet was interesting loveable character who reminded me of one of my friends. Mrs Hays was so sweet and reminded me of my drama teacher, which is another thing I loved about the book that all the characters were really relatable. The characters I didn’t like were obviously Hunter who I just wanted to scream at for being so not understanding towards people (he made my blood boil). The mother Louelle I didn’t like but could understand her situation but overall she was such a frustrating character to read I just wanted to say wake up!!

My Thoughts:

Overall, I really enjoyed this book fantastic thrilling plot that kept me on the edge of my seat right to the end. A great mix of characters that fill you with emotions. Half way through I thought I’d really like a sequel because I loved the characters so much. However, the ending was so satisfying that I decided against the sequel thought which is rare. A thrilling YA that will take through a curious journey.

Elsie Harris Picture Palace by Jessica Martin Review

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@goodreads

Title: Elsie Harris Picture Palace

Author:  Jessica Martin

Rating: 5/5 stars

Page Count: 152 pages

Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Love

Where from: From Jessica herself.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29245233-elsie-harris-picture-palace

Synopsis:

Every girl has a dream and Elsie’s is to go to Hollywood and through a talent as a writer and artist which she has yet to discover. Will it be enough to get into Hollywood?

Favourite Quote:

From Elsie “He’d have as much respect for me as he does for the startlets that come to service him?!”

It’s just a fantastic womans rebellion line that show you how cruel and unappreciative life can be but that we should not stand for that nonsense!

Style of Writing:

I loved Elsie’s voice throughout this graphic novel she felt very true to her heart throughout which just sucked you into her Hollywood dream even more. When you think Hollywood you think oh this girl will loose her identity as soon as she gets there! No No No you feel through the novel that Elsie’s identity and her voice is above Hollywood and that she has made her own version of Hollywood.

Characters:

There are lots of characters here so i’m limiting myself. I loved Elsie because she is a dreamer like me and she has this spirit that keeps you reading. I liked Mr Hesketh because he believed in Elsie. Her love of Miles Flannery irritated me but everyone has their crushes. I loved that her friend Beattie stayed as constant reminder of home but also grounded Elsie.

Art:

The artwork is stunning the style is a shaded effect in black and white. It is the perfect fit for the time its set in the 1930s London and Hollywood. It also captured the emotions of the characters perfectly. The artwork showed Hollywood as a far away land.

My Thoughts:

I loved this graphic novel because it i s centred around a time 1930s that fascinates me so much because it is a time of social progression. It’s all a about a who lives her dream which I love cause I’m dreamy. It’s a beautiful story of history and film that compels you to the end.

If you have read Elsie Harris Picture Palace I would love to know your thoughts in the comments below!

Electrigirl by Joe Cotterill and Cathy Brett Review

 

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@goodreads

Title: Electrigirl

Author and Illustrator: Jo Cotterill and Cathy Brett

Rating: 4/5 stars

Page Count: 208 pages

Genre: Superheroes, Children’s, Comic

Where from: ARC from Oxford University Press Children’s Books

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29360398-electrigirl

Synopsis:

It’s all about this girl called Holly who lives in Bluehaven and this new phone company sets up their headquarters there. They give out free phones to everyone but Holly is suspicious. One afternoon she has a fight with her best friend and she goes for a walk on the hillside near the headquarters and gets electricuted! Will she survive or will something mysterious happen?

Favourite Quote:

“You know you see bits of training where initially they’re rubbish and then they get good kind of quickly usually with a catchy pop song. This is a book so I can’t do the pop song bit. But maybe you could listen to one while you read the next bit and then you’ll get the right kind of effect.”

This was my favourite because it is for me as an adult (hate that word) it summed up that nostalgia about the superheroes I watched as a teenager. Made me laugh so much.

Style of Writing:

I loved the style of writing it was written for children but also had this hidden humour for adults. Its written from Holly’s perspective which I really liked because she had the voice of someone who had grow up early which I can really relate to. Also the use of the comic strip enhanced her voice and made her more relatable character.

Characters:

In terms of characters I loved the whole brother and sister duo of Holly and Joe it gives the story that innocence but also that family element. I love that element because I have a big family so again can relate. I really liked the character of Professor Macavity mainly because she was a very modern villain in terms of a woman rising to the top and loved her mysteriousness. Holly’s mum I found irritating but who knows she may warm to me in the second book.

My Thoughts:

Overall I just couldn’t put this ball of fun book/ comic down. For me its a book that I would put it in the category of pure imagination because it sends you into a reality you could only wish for.

The comic book element  to this novel is fantastic it brings the story to life but also works well for those dramatic moments in the book. Although I would have liked a bit more comic strip but thats cause I love comics.

All in all a fabulously fun read for kids especially those who have dyslexia like me with the incorporation of comic strip. Also good for young adults as it brings out that childhood dream of becoming a superhero.

The second book in the series is out called Deadly Swarm review coming soon and here is the goodreads link to the second book:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31350707-electrigirl-and-the-deadly-swarm

If you have read Electrigirl please leave your thoughts in the comments I would love to hear them!

Washington Square

So this year I vowed to myself that I would read more classics because I miss the language of classic books. I’m sure we all went through that teenage phase where we went through every classic novel written just to look smart. Ok maybe just me!

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So this is my introduction to Henry James’ writing. Well my mother is a big fan of Henry James so growing up I watched the Bostonians and loads of other classics. I just picked this one up and couldn’t stop reading it at first. Without giving too much away its a story  of love, loss and inheritance. I know as soon as you hear the word inheritance you run away because  it’s the boring part of classic novels but it is in just about everyone. But I promise you in this novel it focuses more how it effects the relationships and interactions between people.

So it starts off unlike most classic novels about a non-pretty girl who is in the prime of her life and meets a charming young man and falls in love. But will it last is the question which rests on her father.

The characters in this short novel you go from loving to hating by the end of the novel but you do have a deep understanding for them and their situation. I have to say I loved the character of Catherine mainly because she reminded me of a real independent woman. Those characters are rare in classics usually they are prim princesses and a bit too high and mighty for me I like down to earth characters which is strange cause I read a lot of fantasy.

A huge concentration of the book is the relationship between the father, Dr Sloper and Catherine. I found this interesting most of the time but at times it felt a bit too rigid and lacking depth to it. Its a hard to imagine how the dynamic would have worked as relationships between men and women were not as relaxed as they are now.

The dynamic between the two lovers was limited in terms of the development of the relationship and at times it felt almost fake. I guess that was his point can love manifest itself so quickly. You feel sorry for them because everyone believes in true love. However, by the end of the book I felt so frustrated by the two of them I wanted to knock their heads together.

James’ writing style is interesting it was not about the description of sorroundings or even the characters that much. He put so much focus on dynamics of relationships, how people felt and what they were thinking. It was nice change from the usual focus on the surroundings in immense detail. Not much dialogue throughout which left a lot of discussions open to interpretation of the imagination which allowed me to picture the characters more easily.

Overall, it was an enjoyable and interesting read. However, the middle section felt as if it died in terms of developement of the characters and plot especially in regards to Catherine. It is a good read but not an essential classic as it felt it went nowhere and the ending reminded me a lot of Persausion.

If you have read it let me know what you think or if you have another classic suggestion for my classics binge reading?

Six Of Crows Review (Slightly Spoilery!)

This book blew me off my seat! It was incredible, fun, gripping and so interesting magically!  I loved it!

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The size of the picture is so big but because I love this book I kept it in!

This book is about the greatest heist I have ever read and my other obsession apart from YA is crime so this was beyond what I expected. It follows this gang of teenagers through the planning to the end of the success or failure of the heist. It is set in the magical land of the Grisha world which you may know from her first books which were the Grisha Trilogy. The idea of the heist is that this new drug Juda Parem which is effecting the Grisha (people with magical powers) and Bo Yul Bahyur holds the key to the creation of the drug but can the gang spring him out of the Ice Court Palace?

SPOILER ALERT!

The plot of this book kept me engaged to the last page and beyond as this is a duology there will be more. It is so hard to pick a favourite scene so I have narrowed it down to two. The first scene I really loved was the scene at the docks where they are just ambushed by the Fjerdian soldiers and Nina comes to the rescue by becoming this epic hero! You just feel like going GO NINA! Luckily I was in my room at the time I was reading it so I could shout it! Another reason why I loved this scene was that it was a test of Nina and Matthias’ relationship because I think at that point it’s like a titanic moment.

The other scene I loved was the moment on the boat between Kaz and Inej where there is this suggestion of romance. It was like this amazingly passionate moment where you were like will they or won’t they kiss I was sitting on the edge of my seat going PLEASE KISS! Such beautiful writing.

The world building in this series has been built by her previous trilogy because it is set in the same world of Grisha. However, I have not read the trilogy but she still puts enough world building for you to be intrigued and not feel confused. So you can read the duology before the trilogy. So the world of Grisha is epic and intricate and made so you could write a million stories about it from every angle. So basically Grisha are magical beings with different abilities depending on their speciality they have different names for example Nina is a Heartrender. There are different lands the Grisha people are mostly from Ravka and then there is Ketterdam and Fjerdian I love that she made every land very relatable to our world through the different lands attitudes. 

Duologies are becoming more popular which is for me as a reviewer really good cause when I am reading a series that are longer than a trilogy I always have to do rereads cause my memory fades so annoying. In another sense it opens up to more spin offs like the one I am talking about which is awesome not only for fans but also authors. This is due to the fact like  Harry Potter there is always a want for more but it is not necessarily the direction the authors wants. So I think the duology gives the writer that freedom for the writer in the world they have created. Six of Crows is a great example of this scenairo.

The use of different perspectives from nearly all the characters in the book gives you more of a connection to the characters. In Six of Crows you don’t get Wylan’s perspective but Leigh says we get more of Wylan story in Crooked Kingdoms. It’s not only a connection to the characters but also for me with perspectives you feel as if the character in the room explaining their story to you. That feeling is so special because you know the author has created a world you can delve into and leave reality.

Finally I wanted to discuss the themes she explores as they are quite dark for instance; trafficking, gangs, innocence of childhood and minorities. It just jammed packed with big topical themes that are hugely relevant to today’s society. I think these are issues that need to be discussed between young adults to make sure that we do something about these issues to in some cases stop these issues. This book acheives discussing these issues in a way that YA readers can understand and make them discuss and think about these issues. The main theme I really liked was the lack of innocence. So most of the characters are suggested to be in their late teens but as you’ll see throughout the book they are acting like adults. I think this is very true of children who are born in these times from the 1990s onwards. The reason is that ideas, war, circumstances and technology have in a way made it more difficult to flow through life easily and to get to that point in life where there is a sense of achievement in life. Leigh represented that lack of innocence beautifully and I think today kids are learning to grow up at earlier age.

Overall, this book not only filled my idea of the perfect fantasy heist but also made me contemplate so many issues within society and the way we look at people. It is perfect for all fantasy and YA fans I think. It gripped me on every page and left me wanting more. It is a book that will be in my top 10 for the rest of my life. Beautifully written book that really touched me definitely a must read series of the year!

As usual, comment below and let me know what type of Grisha you would like to be?

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