Reading Wrap Up!
February 2019 has been a great month, it’s been enlightening and it’s encouraged me to come to terms with a few things for the better.
Mostly I’ve started to realise what serves to propel me forwards and help me to accomplish my dreams, and also what doesn’t – people, hobbies and actions.
Plus, I had a pretty good reading month!
All in all, I read a total of 6 books, which isn’t amazing for me, but I am writing this relatively early – it’s the 20th today and I hope to have another book finished by the time this is posted.
Between February the 1st and February the 3rd I read:
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? – Philip K Dick.
I have been eager to read this for a while, I really enjoyed The Blade Runner movie and I read some of Dick’s work last year and quite liked it, despite its weirdness.
I’m happy to say that this book retains that weirdness but in a more easily digestible way.
I loved this book which is set on a post-apocalyptic Earth in which the majority of life has been wiped out. Animals, therefore, act as a kind of currency or at least they are a sought after possession which proves your empathy to other people – and as for the people, well, there’s a whole bunch of androids posing as humans which is a big no-no.
Enter Rick Deckard – an android killing bounty hunter who finds himself caught up in a rather complicated situation in which he has to “shut down” 4 androids – but how to ascertain who is human and who is droid? He has his techniques, but does it work? Just what is it that makes something “human”?
I thoroughly enjoyed this book – it was perfect for me in the sense of the questions it raises about humanity, empathy and also the queries I had with regards to Rick himself. I’ll be thinking about it for some time.
I gave this novel 5/5 stars.
Between the 4th of February and the 6th of February I read:
They Both Die at the End – Adam Silvera.
I had heard many wonderful things about this writer and the topics he covers in his novels, mostly Contemporary but set in the not too distant future, from what I can gather, this author writes character-driven novels which pull at the heartstrings.
They Both Die at the End has been described to me as the sort of book which will have you in tears, despite the fact that you clearly know what is going to happen at the end, you don’t know how and you don’t know why.
Rufus and Mateo are two teens who receive a call stating that today is the day they will die – this is a weird system in which people are alerted that they will pass away within the next 24 hours and have an undetermined amount of time within those 24hrs to get their affairs in order or say their goodbyes or whatever.
They meet over an app called “last friend” and spend the next day or so in each other’s company, attempting to live their lives to the fullest in the short space of time they have left.
I loved this concept, it’s original and the characters are fantastic, there’s an obvious character arc and love stuff was, albeit predictable, sweet and well written. Unfortunately, my logical ass wanted to know more about the system, about the call people receive on their day of death and how it all works. PLUS I felt that in reality, even if this system was in place, people would just go absolutely bloody mental and start killing everyone around them when they realised it was their death day. Crime would totally skyrocket and humanity would be doomed.
So yeah, I loved this story but I needed more explanation.
For this reason, I gave this novel a 4/5 rating.
Read on: 07.02.2019
The Party – Elizabeth Day
So, this was an absolutely pleasant surprise.
I went into this book with zero expectations, I figured – “Thriller type novel with dodgy sexual undertones” and I wasn’t completely wrong, but honestly, I really loved this novel more than I thought I would.
The main character, Martin, has been the best friend of Ben since they were at boarding school together when they were teens, the lads went through everything together but their pairing was a little weird – Martin, the creepy swot, and Ben, the extrovert jock.
Fast forward and the men are approaching their 40’s, Ben is throwing and obnoxious bash at his posh mansion with his super extra wife and Martin and his wife Lucy are invited along – and then we find out a lot of shit about their past which honestly had me turning those pages frantically – I ate this novel up so quickly in one day – something I haven’t done since Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter.
This story is told from the perspectives of Martin and his wife, Lucy and we learn so much about all of the characters that I was dying to find out more.
I will say, this book does have some content involving animal cruelty so if you’re easily upset I’d give it a miss. I hate animal cruelty but in this novel I could mostly switch off and allow my cold, emotionless personality to take over for a bit. Then I ate ice-cream and hugged my cat.
Really great read, 4.5/5 stars.
Read from 07.02.2019 – 11.02.2019
Homegoing – Yaa Gyasi
A multi-generational novel which follows the descendants of two sisters who have lived very different lives – one the wife of a slaver and one a slave.
I didn’t realise that this was the case when I picked up this novel, I figured it was going to follow the two sisters and then they would meet further into the story and unite against the way their people were being treated, but no.
I really liked this story, but I did have a few issues with it- mostly the information dumps, because the story is told from the perspective of multiple different characters over the course of generations, you never get to know a character well enough to truly identify with them which is something I long for in stories, so I didn’t ever get that emotional connection I so love.
Because these stories highlight things which were a reality for so many, I was able to immerse myself somewhat, just perhaps not quite as much as I would have liked.
All in all, it was a nice read and I gave it 4/5 stars.
The Diabolic – S.J Kincaid
Read from 11.02.2019 – 18.02.2019
This book seemed to take me ages to get through and I’m kind of gutted because I really thought I’d love this novel!
I kept seeing it places and I’d get this feeling about it – that I was going to love it.
This was a lie.
I didn’t hate it, but I certainly didn’t love it either!
The Diabolic centres around Nemesis, a humanoid creature which has been created with the sole purpose to protect a bonded human, in this case, it’s Sidonia who the daughter of an incredibly important political leader.
Stuff goes down and Nemesis ends up having to pass herself off as a human in order to protect Sidonia – not only that, she has to impersonate Sidonia herself whilst being aboard an enemy starship.
Thankfully, everyone in this galaxy pretty much has the means to change their appearance whenever they bloody well like, thank you very much.
I had a few problems here – first, the fact that people could change their appearance at will and this went about completely un-recorded and without any limit. Surely this is problematic when you have a galaxy in which all the humanoid inhabitants hate each other’s guts?
Also, Nemesis had a stupid name, she was supposed to be protecting Sidonia, why would you called your protector Nemesis?! WTF? She’s a guardian, not a bloody murdering war machine!
There were some weird paedophilic references in this book which I didn’t care for – they were explained later on in the book, but I still kind of hated them anyway.
There was a lot I didn’t like in all honesty but I did like the character arc, Nemesis, despite having a ridiculous name, did make for an intriguing protagonist and I enjoyed seeing her grow.
In the end, I gave this novel 3/5 stars and I refuse to listen to my gut when it comes to books ever again.
Fireside Chats with a Grammar Nazi Serial Killer – Ryan Suvaal
I was lucky enough to be sent a free ebook of this novel in return for an honest review.
This is a short, snappy little tale about a serial killer who despises people who can’t do grammar good. Lol.
The killer finds poor, unsuspecting writers who have most likely self-published and left their works unedited, or at least not proofread them properly, she then tracks them down and kills them in grotesque ways which coincide with the mistakes they made within their novels.
This story is from the perspective of two characters – the killer and an internet talk show host who is interviewing her.
This book is short and silly, I enjoyed it but it’s wasn’t anything remarkable.
Some of the writing felt clunky and in the end, I admit I found myself asking, “Why do I even care?”
I gave it 3/5 stars.
So, that’s my reading wrap-up for February!
Let me know if you’ve read any of these novels and if you have, what your thoughts were.
Also, do you have any recommendations based on the books I enjoyed and have mentioned here? Let me know in the comments below!
Until next time,