3 June 2017

Recently Read | May

What I read in May...

Each month I hope to read more and more, but I never seem to have enough time. I have however read four books this May, which isn't too bad of a feat, really. In the bunch this time is the latest in YA fiction and an adult fiction debut novel from the fabulous Dawn O'Porter. Here are my reviews on these books!

The Cruelty by Scott Bergstorm*
Walker Books, 2 February 2017
★★★★

I'm not one to read a thriller, but I took a chance on this book and it turns out I loved it. The Cruelty is about a young girl called Gwendolyn who goes on a mission around Europe to find out what happened to her father, who's gone missing. In other words, it's sort of like Taken, but in reverse. I don't think it's a particularly realistic concept but I absolutely loved reading it for the action, the mystery and I also loved Gwendolyn as a character. She is quite cold and neutral, but very intelligent, and I loved being inside her mind and seeing what sort of decisions she would make next. She knows five languages and she's just kind of a badass. This book was simply an adventure, being fun and addictive to read, but it also incorporated serious themes like human trafficking which I've never really read about in fiction before. This book isn't a heart-stopping thriller, but it is a page-turner with a lot of violence and action. I'm not sure why I wanted to give this 5 stars, I just simply loved getting into this and I found it difficult to put down.


Unconventional by Maggie Harcourt
Usborne Publishing, 1 February 2017
★★★

For me, Uncoventional was one of those books that was almost there, but not quite there. I couldn't bring myself to give it 4 stars. The premise of this book is something that is absolutely right up my street - Lexi Angelo, who has a Dad that organises conventions (and she helps out on weekends), finds herself falling in love with an author at one of the events. Think Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (but sadly, not as good). This was a bit like a fanfiction, with all the cute bits that you'd expect, however I felt the development of the relationship between Lexi and Aidan was not great - quite unconvincing and unrealistic. I have read my fair share of YA romance and only some authors manage to do it well. However, as I said, there were some really cute moments and if this story sounds intriguing, it may still be worth the read.


Release by Patrick Ness*
Walker Books, 4 May 2017
★★★

Patrick Ness is a best-selling and very popular author. His books, like The Monster Calls, are said to be amazing - but I've never read any until now, with his latest release. Release is about a boy called Adam who has struggles at home, as he's gay and thinks/knows his church-going family won't approve, and with his love life, trying to get over someone who he's loved or maybe still loves. At the same time, there's something else going on in the town where Adam lives, to do with a girl who was recently murdered. This part of the story is fantasy, and quite ambiguous. The stories don't connect in any way throughout the book (at least on a surface level) until the very end. I did find the fantasy part a little confusing and unrelated to what I thought was the main part of the book, with Adam. I loved reading about Adam and the struggles he has been facing, and faces across the one day this book is set across. I felt excited when the story went back to Adam, but didn't like the fantasy element to the book. I did find a connection to this story in the end, but it wasn't quite enough. Intriguing, but sadly not quite there.


The Cows by Dawn O'Porter*
Harper Collins, 6 April 2017
★★★★

I was very excited to get my hands on Dawn O'Porter's latest release. After listening to her podcast, Get It On, I could only come to the conclusion that she's one cool lady. I love the sorts of things Dawn talks about, and it was no exception with this book. It covered a variety of topics that are so interesting, relevant and important to talk about, such as love, sex, periods, masturbation, pregnancy, abortion and so on. I also always love reading from dual (or in this case three) perspectives and how the character's lives intertwine with one another. This book is Dawn's adult fiction debut (she's previously written a young adult series), and follows three different women living in London - all with different views on some of the topics mentioned above, with different jobs and lives. I loved how the overarching message to this book was that it's fine if you have a different opinion to another woman, and women shouldn't bring each other down. A downside to this book was that some of the concepts were very farfetched and unbelievable, but maybe that adds to the fun of the book - it's fiction after all. I was a little indifferent to this when I first finished it but I do think it's worthwhile for any woman to pick up to have a laugh and a really good think.



Are you interested in reading any of these books? Let me know what you think!

-Emma



*Review Copy

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