read //10


Gretel and the Dark // Eliza Granville
Fairytale retellings are becoming my thang so when I saw this book I was excited to give it a go.  It fuses together the horrors of Nazi Germany alongside Vienna decades earlier.  There's that classic moral question of whether to wipe out someone who will grow up to cause devastation, but it's done in a clever way.  This was a book I had to give full concentration to, and was (as the name would suggest) a dark and often unsettling read.  It wasn't written in a way that I particularly connected with, but it had a compelling storyline.  Without giving anything away, there were certain parallels with another book I've reviewed recently - it came as a shock in both books and I was surprised to have found a similar twist twice!
Rating: 3/5

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry // Gabriella Zevin
You know when you read a book and can instantly imagine it as a film?  That's exactly what happened with this one.  A.J. Fikry is the widower owner of an independent bookshop, seemingly destined for a life of alcoholism.  Until someone leaves Maya, a 25-month old, in the aisles of the shop with the request that he look after her.  It spans A.J's life (so gets a thumbs up from me) but only tells snippets, interspersed with mini book reviews of the books A.J recommends Maya reads along with how they relate to a certain point in his life.  This is a New York Times bestseller and whilst it was nice....I feel like that's all it was.  Nice.  I'm hoping that this gets translated onto the big screen as I'd be interested to see it and think it would form the basis of a good film.
Rating: 3/5

Reasons to Stay Alive // Matt Haig
I'll admit straight away that I haven't actually finished this book yet, and I don't have intentions to sit down and continue reading from cover to cover.  I feel like this is more of a coffee table book to dip in and out of when a bit of a pick me up, or inspiration is needed.  The book is a raw account of Matt Haig's battle with depression, interspersed with researched facts, figures and thoughts.  I've had various points in the last year when I've felt really really low, and this book would probably have been useful.  Which is why I'll be saving it for when I feel like it's of more relevance to that particular point in my life.  But an honest, eye-opening read nonetheless!

Rating: 4/5

The Looking Glass House // Vanessa Tait
A fictional interpretation of the facts surrounding Lewis Carroll's creation of Alice in Wonderland, written by Alice Liddell's great-granddaughter was always going to be a book I wanted to read.  I had this on pre-order for the moment it was released on kindle, but did it live up to my expectations?  Probably not.  It wasn't as whimsical as I'd hoped, although on reflection that's perhaps because it was based on real-life events on characters.  I've not read anything else on this topic, and I found Carroll to be an intriguing, odd character that I want to read more about.  Alice Liddell is not the cute little girl I expected her to be; in fact, this book didn't show her in a flattering light at all.  The story revolves around her governess, Mary Prickett, and the infamous summer's day punting trip where Alice in Wonderland was dreamt up doesn't take place until well into the last third of the book, which I found disappointing.  This was an intense story which really evoked a sense of the completely different time period and the interesting naivety of Prickett, but sadly missed the mark in terms of what I was hoping for.
Rating: 3/5

1 comment

  1. I like the sound of Reasons to Stay Alive, I really like books that I can dip in and out of when I feel like picking them up. Thanks for these reviews <3


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