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: Captured by a Blade by Brianna West

Captured by a Blade by Brianna West 5/5


Tee knew she wasn’t your average high school girl. She had fangs and super human strength, with an affinity for wearing all black.
Until that fateful night, Tee thought she was the only one of her kind–a mix-breed supernatural with a mean punch.
Until she met Blade.
Then everything Tee ever knew about herself changed in one single night–a night that a simple misunderstanding would lead to Tee discovering the vast underground of the Promiscus Guardians.

Review:

I read this short story ages ago, but for some reason I didn’t post my review *naughty K.J.* I wanted to have a re-read before posting this review to refresh my memory.

West’s promiscus guardians universe is extensive and so well rounded that it’s incredibly easy to slip back in. This short is an extension of that world, although, I would say this story is perhaps a little more new adult genre which opens up the books to a slightly different demographic.

Tee and Blade are from the same world, but are worlds apart. They make a great duo, and the back and forth between them gave shades of light and humour to the narrative.

I shall watch this space to see what West has in store for these two.


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: What the Dead Fear by Lea Ryan

What the Dead Fear by Lea Ryan 3.5/5

Juniper Townsend died of carbon monoxide poisoning at the ripe, old age of 22.
However, death isn’t the end. In Limbo, she finds a foggy wasteland and strange creatures. She also discovers that during night hours, she can walk among the living. But there are rules. Never influence destiny. Never interfere, because the consequences are dire.
Will she sacrifice eternal freedom to save the innocent?

Review:

An interesting take on the afterlife, or at least a part of the afterlife. Ryan adds characters with interesting dynamics in their personalities. Good and bad are blurred in some respects.

This short story is followed up by a sequel. Some intriguing narrative points are laid in place that should result in a sequel with potential. I just wished this book was a little longer to establish the relationships between the characters a little more fully.


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: Virus the Unknown by Larry Finhouse

Virus the Unknown by Larry Finhouse 3/5


Brody had always wanted to live like the rich kids did, with their hot meals and shiny cell phones. Unfortunately, life had other plans for him and his sister Pippa. Struggling to pick up the pieces after their father’s mysterious death and coping with their mother’s drug use and her abominable new boyfriend, the children felt even more removed from hope. In this thrilling debut novella, Brody and Pippa are about to learn to rely on a completely different set of survival mechanisms — a set that would keep them alive while horror, a virus that slowly poisons the human brain, tears apart their small town. Amid the outbreak, tales of fright breed and people begin using the word zombie — something Brody, even though young, thinks is foolish.

Review:

The author plays on the fact that the readers are aware that this is a zombie book. On many occasions he builds the scene for us to believe that the zombie virus will present itself to the kids, but no. In fact, we don’t know/hear much about any infection until much later in the book. The main chunk of story is backstory. Brody and Pippa’s sibling relationship is the driving force.

The narrative doesn’t hold back in brutality and abuse, and it’s shown to us through the eyes of a child and his sister which makes it that much more awful to witness.

I’m not a fan of free books that leave you on a massive cliffhanger to encourage you to then buy the 2nd. This book did just that. At least conclude the narrative to an extent, and trust that your writing ability will spur me on to book 2, not a lack of conclusion.


The 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