read // 11

9.11.15

The Accidental // Ali Smith
The more I get into BookTube the more authors are mentioned in an almost iconic, 'must read' status.  Ali Smith is one of these, so I thought I'd give it a go with the book I'd heard most of.  The Accidental tells the tale of a family on holiday in Norfolk when Amber turns up out of the blue and virtually gate crashes.  Each member of the family assumes she's someone else's 'guest' and we see the short journey as this dysfunctional family falls apart.  Shall I start with the good bits?  I liked how each chapter was narrated by a different family member with a very clear voice and different writing style for each.  I liked how the book was split into three sections 'beginning', 'middle' and 'end' with a chapter from each character (in the same order!) within each secion, and overall I liked Amber's role as a bohemian fairy godmother, so to speak.  But I didn't actually like Amber.  I didn't like the length of the chapters, I didn't like having to concentrate so hard on what I hoped would be a fairly easy book and I didn't like the feeling this gave me of not quite getting it.  I just didn't understand the hype, and won't be reading any of Ali Smith's work again.
Rating: 1/5

A Man Called Ove // Fredrik Backman
This was the most charming, wonderfully heartwarming book I've read in a long time.  Set in Sweden, it tells the tale of Ove who at first sight is a grumpy old man.  I don't want to give too much away, but the book has two threads; present day Ove who is adjusting to his wife's death, and younger Ove telling the history of how he came to be the man he is today.  It's a beautiful story of friendship, community and family, and you soon learn that Ove is (in my eyes) actually the perfect gentleman: helpful, kind and trying to be a good man.  Albeit a bit shouty and punchy.  But I liked that!  If you liked The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, you'll love this.
Rating: 5/5

Disclaimer // Renee Knight 
What a book!  I whizzed through this in the space of a collective few hours....often the case with this thriller-type books, I find.  The cover is adorned with a sticker promising that "if you loved The Girl on the Train, you'll love this"; you may remember that I didn't love TGOTT, and in my opinion Disclaimer is miles better.  A book appears in Catherine's house, and upon reading she realises that she is the focus of it and it's laying bare her deepest secret which she thought nobody knew.  It's a psychological thriller that had me gripped.  It's full of twists, kept me guessing and featured characters so real and believable that I felt genuine disgust upon reading some parts.  Even if this isn't your usual genre (and it isn't mine!) this was still an exciting, un-put-down-able book.
Rating: 5/5

Grace Williams Says It Loud // Emma Henderson
I've got mixed thoughts about this one.  The subject - Grace Williams, who is institutionalised by her family in the 1950s - was fairly interesting.  The blurb promised a tale of love between Grace and Daniel, a boy with epilepsy who sees something special in Grace.  The book then spans the next 30+ years of Grace's life.  I found their love story touching, Daniel endearing and Grace really quite sweet.  But the book just didn't really do anything for me.  It was honest, raw and shocking at points (mainly because of the now outdated lingo being used!), but I also found it hard to follow and difficult to get in a flow with at first.  That said, I soon got used to the rather disjointed style of writing and managed to get through the second half of this book in an evening.  It just wasn't a favourite.
Rating: 2/5

1 comment

  1. These sound like a great mix of books. I'd love to read The Accidental <3

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