Book Reviews

Book Review: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas 5/5

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter navigates between the poverty-stricken neighbourhood she has grown up in and the upper-crust suburban prep school she attends. Her life is up-ended when she is the sole witness to a police officer shooting her best friend, Khalil, who turns out to have been unarmed during the confrontation – but may or may not have been a drug dealer. As Starr finds herself even more torn between the two vastly different worlds she inhabits, she also has to contend with speaking her truth and, in the process, trying to stay alive herself.

Review:

I won’t start this review with a synopsis as I’m in no doubt that most people have heard about this book. The hype was huge, but well deserved.

I always feel a little overwhelmed reviewing an important book. This book is important, and the fact that it needs to exist is a saddening state of affairs for 2018+.

Angie Thomas got the balance right. One minute you’re reading something awful and horrific, then the next you’re laughing. The truth of human nature comes across in this narrative. It also helps the readers digest what they are reading. Seriously, it is needed. I’m still reeling from this book, and my own ignorance.

I read this book as a buddy read with two other reviewers. All of us have rated this read 5*. I think that says it all.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J. Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review


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Book Reviews

Book Review: Switched by Amanda Hocking

Switched by Amanda Hocking 3/5

Wendy Everly knew she was different the day her mother tried to kill her and accused her of having been switched at birth. Although certain she’s not the monster her mother claimed she is, she does feel that she doesn’t quite fit in.

She’s bored and frustrated by her small-town life – and then there’s the secret she can’t tell anyone. Her mysterious ability – she can influence people’s decisions, without knowing how, or why . . .

When the intense and darkly handsome newcomer Finn suddenly turns up at her bedroom window one night, her world is turned upside down. He holds the key to her past, the answers to her strange powers and is the doorway to a place she never imagined could exist: Förening, the home of the Trylle.

Finally everything makes sense. Among the Trylle she is not just different, but special. But what marks her out as chosen for greatness in this world also places her in grave danger. With everything around her changing, Finn is the only person she can trust. But dark forces are conspiring – not only to separate them, but to see the downfall of everything that Wendy cares about.

The fate of Förening rests in Wendy’s hands, and the decisions she and Finn make could change all their lives forever . . .

Review:

I had read Hocking’s Hollowland, but none of the Trylle series. The reviews I had seen were extremely mixed, but I like to judge for myself. I’m sat firmly in the middle ground with 3/5 stars. I liked this read, but did not love it. Hollowland was much more my cup of tea.

I’m not a reader who dislikes a well placed genre trope if done well. This book is full of tropes; some work, some felt outdated. The latter made Wendy seem a little ‘damsel in distressy’ for my taste. Stand up for yourself a little more, girl.

I did like the troll/ changeling concept, and the dynamics between the various characters. I want to know more about the Trylle and their lifestyle/ history, so I will be continuing on with this series. Plus, a friend told me to plough through book one as book two is much more satisfying.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J. Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

Book Reviews

Book Review: How to be Champion by Sarah Millican

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How to be Champion by Sarah Millican 3/5

Part autobiography, part self help, part confession, part celebration of being a common-or-garden woman, part collection of synonyms for nunny, Sarah Millican’s debut book delves into her super normal life with daft stories, funny tales and proper advice on how to get past life’s blips – like being good at school but not good at friends, the excitement of IBS and how to blossom post divorce.

If you’ve ever worn glasses at the age of six, worn an off-the-shoulder gown with no confidence, been contacted by an old school bully, lived in your childhood bedroom in your thirties, been gloriously dumped in a Frankie and Benny’s, cried so much you felt great, been for a romantic walk with a dog, worn leggings two days in a row even though they smelt of wee from a distance, then this is YOUR BOOK. If you haven’t done those things but wish you had, THIS IS YOUR BOOK. If you just want to laugh on a train/sofa/toilet or under your desk at work, THIS IS YOUR BOOK.

Review:

This book reads as part autobiography, part self help book. Sarah Millican came to the world of stand-up a little later in her life. She recounts her childhood on the breadline, loneliness and bullying at school, her various jobs, her divorce and subsequent depression, and meeting her now husband, Gary. The story of how she got into stand-up is woven in between her personal life narrative.

Sarah’s humour transfers onto the page, and this appears to help her reflect on the more serious issues (such as the bullying) with her infamous humour. It may be a coping mechanism, but it is definitely rallies the victims and de-sensationalises the bullies. Thumbs up!

That being said, I found the book didn’t read with a true sense of fluidity. There are many footnotes telling the reader to see a later chapter, or to wait for more on a subject until later in the book.

If you like blunt, no nonsense autobiographies, then try this read. If you don’t like a potty-mouthed comedian… maybe not. I do like the raw, honest recount that Sarah gives. I even read the book with her accent in my head.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J. Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

Sharing Sundays

Sharing Sundays

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It’s that time of the week again… my Sharing Sundays post is live!

This week, I’m sending you in the direction of a book review blog, HJ Book Blog.

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If you’re looking to follow an honest book reviewer who reviews consistently, then definitely follow this blog, guys.

If you head over to HJ Book Blog, let her know that I sent you.


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Book Reviews

Book Review: Ten Days in a Mad-House by Nellie Bly

Ten Days in a Mad-House by Nellie Bly 4/5

Ten Days in A Mad-House, Was Written By Nellie Bly in 1887, after she lived, undercover, at a women’s insane asylum at Blackwell’s Island in 1887 for ten days. This was an assignment given to her by Joseph Pulitzer. The living conditions and treatment of the Patients were Horrible.

Review:

Although the story of Nellie Bly going undercover in an asylum is truth, it reads as fiction. The horrific treatment of patients is the stuff out of a nightmare: making all the women use the same towel, rotten food, staff choking patients for being noisy etc. The list of atrocious behaviour by those in a position of care is endless.

It was also shocking to read how quickly sane women were deemed insane for quite different illnesses.

Taking a look inside an asylum in 1887 is eye opening. Nellie was incredibly brave to put herself through that ordeal for ten days. It makes you think about the poor souls left behind in similar institutes.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J. Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

Book Reviews

Demon’s Bloodlust by Brianna West

Demon’s Bloodlust by Brianna West 5/5


Althea and Nikolai are already meant for greatness. The children of infamous Promiscus Guardians, it is only natural that they would be expected to be nothing less than perfect when it came to their own careers as the protectors of Light and defeaters of Dark.

But when a super villain and an old, unfortunate blast from the past come a-knockin’, Al and Niko are forced to see their long-standing friendship in a totally different light. And it might just put to test these childhood friends who do not know the first thing about love.

The New Guardian Generation ventures into the already well-established world of the Promiscus Guardians. Old faces join new ones in this brand-new series. But the laughs, adventure, and romance are what you come to expect of the Guardians.

Review:

The babies are all grown up!!!! If you haven’t read of West’s extensive Promiscus Guardians universe, then you won’t know what I’m on about, but following the lives of the parents, and now, the babies (who are now adults) is totally awesome.

Seeing Izzy and Lucas as parental figures is just eeek! And the relationship between Althea and Nikolai is like watching an Izzy and Pavel play-out that never happened in the Promiscus Guardians Series. Juicy juicy!

I always say that slipping back into one of Wests Guardians books (there are many books and spin offs set in the one universe) is so easy because the world building is so extensive and built upon that I know everyone to an extent, and old characters pop up in a new narrative and are seen through the eyes of the main character in each book, so each book shows a new aspect to our old and trusty Guardians.

I never know how West is going to expand her universe, but she manages it with ease and keeps it fresh and intriguing.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J. Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

Book Reviews

Book Review: My Thoughts Exactly by Lily Allen

My Thoughts Exactly by Lily Allen 4/5.

So, this is me. Lily Allen.
I am a woman.
I am a mother.
I was a wife.
I drink.
I have taken drugs.
I have loved and been let down.
I am a success and a failure.
I am a songwriter.
I am a singer.
I am all these things and more.
When women share their stories, loudly and clearly and honestly, things begin to change – for the better.
This is my story.

Review:

I listened to Lily Allen in my teens, saw what the media spat about her, and never thought much on what was fact and what was fiction.

I’m not normally a fan of autobiographies because they’re usually all ‘this is the truth about that, and yes, I am the victim in the scenario’. People tend to glorify themselves too much, but Lily hasn’t done that. Yes, she has stated when she was actually the victim in fake media stories etc, but she also states when she was in the wrong.

This is a frank, brutally honest recount of important episodes in Lily’s life, and if you are a fan of her music, then you might find this read interesting.

My only niggle was that it got repetitive in places, hence the 4 not 5 stars.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J. Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review