Read // 4


The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August // Claire North
This book took me three weeks to read, which I think says it all.  It tells the story of a man who, each time he dies, wakes up at exactly the point he was born yet with a full memory of all of his lives before.  A really interesting concept, I really couldn't wait to read this book.  Long story short, it really wasn't what I expected.  It was far too serious and took a lot of effort to read.  In my opinion, too much of the book was taken up with setting the scene and helping us to understand Harry.  I eventually got hooked about 100 pages from the end, when the real action set in.  I had high hopes and was left thoroughly disappointed.
Rating: 2/5

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves // Karen Joy Fowler
This was a book which seemed fairly hyped and I seen frequently.  Loosely summarised, it's a story of family and centres around the mysterious, mutually-agreed disappearance of a member of that family.  The reviews dotted across the cover promised that I'd be "compelled" - I wasn't.  There's a twist midway through which didn't actually make me feel any more interested in the story, and I felt like there was a build up to *something* good towards the end....only nothing happened.  It was easy enough to read, despite an overload of psychology throughout, but all in all I felt underwhelmed by it.
Rating: 3/5

The Ocean at the End of the Lane // Neil Gaiman
This book was nothing like I expected.  I was prepared for a magical, fantastical tale, but this was something else.  It's strange, unapologetically strange, and not a book I'll be reaching for again...I still don't feel like I actually know what it's about. Things I thought I anticipated and/or understood easily changed at the writer's whim and no rules of logic seem to be followed.  I don't mind fantasy stories (I thoroughly enjoyed The Night Circus by Erin Mogernstern), but this was a little too out there for me.
Rating: 2/5

Keep Quiet // Lisa Scottoline
When Jake Buckman lets his son drive home one evening, he hits and kills a jogger.  What follows is an emotionally-charged and morally complex story which, fundamentally, I enjoyed.  What I didn't enjoy was that it felt really 'American'.  I don't mean that in a derogatory way, but it was full of dialogue (too much, I felt) and the Americanism made it slightly harder and less enjoyable to read.  It just didn't seem to flow well, but it probably was the best of a bad bunch this time round.  This was my favourite book out of the four, but another one that won't stay with me.
Rating: 3/5 


  1. I have We Are All Completely Besides Ourselves sitting on my Kindle, and I have for some time. I really struggled to get into and keep meaning to give ti another go, as I do not like leaving books unread. I'm glad that I'm not the only one who hasn't loved it!

    Beccy || Bluebell & Bumpkin

  2. I read We Are All... over the summer and felt a bit "meh" about it - it just wasn't as good as I thought it was going to be despite it being readable and not awful! x

  3. Great post! I love honest book reviews - though it's sad to see how these massively hyped books are so disappointing..! I love Neil Gaiman's short stories - have you tried any of those? 'American Gods' is paticularly good.

    the yup blog

  4. i really enjoyed 'we are all completely beside ourselves' but agreed, overhyped which meant there was always going to be disappointment! great post x

    // The Dress Diaries


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