City of Girls was my first historical fiction read by Elizabeth Gilbert. (I read Eat, Pray, Love a long time ago). I had seen City of Girls around and wasn’t sure what to expect. But I was interested enough to buy a second-hand copy from a book sale. City of Girls is set mostly in 1940s New York. It’s protagonist, nineteen-year-old Vivian Morris, has just been kicked out of school and is banished by her parents to New York to stay with her Aunt Peg.
Aunt Peg runs a crumbling theatre which puts on cheap musical plays for its working class neighbourhood. It’s not up to Broadway standards, but the shows are entertaining with singing, dancing, a bit of a plot, and beautiful showgirls. Vivian is captivated by her new environment and easily swayed by the showgirl’s high life of drinking out every night and going home with no-good men. Continue reading →
*Spoiler-free review* I was so excited to get my hands on House of Earth and Blood the first book in the Crescent City series by Sarah J Maas. I enjoyed her all her Young Adult books and was curious to see what her first adult fantasy book would be like. My first impression was that it’s seriously chunky at 803 pages. That’s a lot of pages of story to get through!
I have to admit that at first, I was a bit confused by this new world SJM had created. It’s an urban fantasy world that includes four houses of which humans and all sorts of mythical beings and beasts are part of. There are humans, angels, fae, shifters like werewolves, witches, vampires, mermaids and mermen, demons and more – all occupying Crescent City. They use technology and text each other, watch reality TV and all the mundane stuff. But they also have unique powers. It’s a world that takes a little while for the reader to immerse themselves in and to learn who is who. Continue reading →
I’m a massive fan of author Marian Keyes and I’ve been reading her books for years. So, you can be sure that I snapped up her latest book Grown Ups as soon as it was released. It’s a seriously chunky read at over 600 pages long. But I found it easy to get through.
Set in Ireland, Grown Ups tells the story of three women: Jessie, Cara and Nell. They are married to the three Casey brothers (Johnny, Ed and Liam). The Casey family likes getting together regularly to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and to go on holidays. They appear to be one big happy family. But like all marriages, and all families, there are plenty of problems, secrets and tensions lurking beneath the surface. And this tension is about to explode at Johnny’s birthday party. Continue reading →
I finished When We Were Vikings by Andrew David Macdonald yesterday and it was such a surprising read. If I hadn’t been sent a review copy by the publisher, I’m not sure if I would ever have picked this up. But I’m so glad I did.
When We Were Vikings is told from the perspective of Zelda, a twenty-one-year-old Viking enthusiast. She lives with her older brother Gert and likes running her life by rules and order. Apart from Vikings and Gert, she loves her boyfriend Marxy and her brother’s ex-girlfriend Annie, who she calls AK47. Zelda lives life wholeheartedly with high functioning Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Continue reading →
The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman was another recent summer read. Nina has a well-organised life: a job in a bookstore, an excellent trivia team and a cat named Phil. As the only daughter of an often absent mother, she is used to her own company. But when the father she never knew about dies and leaves her something in his will, suddenly she has a new family. She is left with half-sisters and brothers, nieces and nephews. Which means she’ll have to speak to strangers! Continue reading →
I’m starting to lose count of how many Christina Lauren books I’ve read. The number of books is getting high! I only discovered this writing duo a year ago and they have now become automatic-buy authors to me. For Christmas I asked my hubby to buy me one of their backlist titles – My Favourite Half-Night Stand. And once again, Christina Lauren didn’t disappoint. Continue reading →
I finally got around to reading The Testaments by Margaret Atwood. I read this soon after my reread of The Handmaid’s Taleso the world of Gilead was still fresh in my mind. The Testaments is set 15 years after the events of The Handmaid’s Tale and unfortunately it doesn’t include much detail about what happened to Offred.
It’s definitely a different kind of story to The Handmaid’s Tale. Much more commercial and action-driven. Gilead is still a big, bad place, but not as scary as when viewed from Offred’s point-of-view. Continue reading →
I recently did a reread of The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. I read this many years ago and had pretty much forgotten everything. But the TV series was fresh in my memory. I wanted to do a reread before moving on to the sequel The Testaments. I was once again blown away by this powerful book. It’s a book with themes that are scary because they are so plausible. Continue reading →