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


Content belongs to K.J.Chapman

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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

Books and Me

Goodreads Reading Challenge 2018

I have just realised that I have hit my 40 books Goodreads Challenge. Whoop whoop!

This year has been a little more hectic with the addition of my son, so last year’s 80 book goal was a no go. Halving that total for 2018 was spot on. Granted, I have read a lot of novellas due to a lack of time, but I’m amazed I hit 40 with how crazy this year has been.

However, that isn’t me done! I shall see what my actual amount is at the end of December.

Are you participating in the Goodreads Challenge? Have you hit your goal, or still working on it? There’s still time, so good luck.


Content belongs to K.J.Chapman

Book Reviews

Book Review: Kindle Income by Alex Foster

Kindle Income by Alex Foster 2.5/5


This book covers the fundamentals to making a living writing books for Kindle. How to set up your book from cover to description to maximize sales.
How to get motivated and pick which books to write. A beginner’s guide to starting with Kindle with the intent to profit. How to gather a following and write quickly to publish books faster.

Review:

I have to review this book from two view points. Firstly, the book didn’t offer me anything I didn’t already know, but would probably help out a new writer with zero knowledge of self publishing.

Secondly, I have read a good few of the books this author has released, and the information is recycled somewhat from book to book. All that seems different is the titles.

These books are not helpful for writers with a general knowledge of self publishing, and the content isn’t much varied, but on the other hand, newbies might benefit from them.


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

Review: Black Virus by Bobby Adair

Black Virus by Bobby Adair 4.5/5

Alienated in a world where he doesn’t fit in, Christian Black survives because he’s different. Then the virus came, and made the world turn different, too.
Now people are dying by the million. Food supplies are short. Riots are blazing through the streets, and Christian’s only goal is to keep his family alive. But safety lies far from the city, and just getting out will be tougher than anyone knows.

Review:

It’s always great to find a new take on the zombie/infection genre. A strain of flu that some die from, some survive, or some are left with a mutation that slowly turns you into a ‘degenerate’, is right up my street.

This story focusses on Christian Black and his background. The foreword from the author was a little worrying for me as he states that he wrote Black Virus because when writing Black Rust he realised there wasn’t room for backstory with a fast paced plot. I disagree with this and believe good writing allows for both. So, even though Black Rust was written and published first, it has become book two. I was wary of Adair’s writing after reading the foreword.

That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed this take on the infection story, even more so because it is packed full of back story and world building. However, that foreword has made my wary of book two. If its all action and no character development or backstory in its own right, then I doubt I will like it as much as book one. I wish that foreword had been omitted.


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, Books and Me

Review: Duplicate by Phoenix Ward

Duplicate by Phoenix Ward 3/5

Upon death, the neurological data that composes one’s personality is downloaded and installed onto computers in the next evolution of A.I.s. These programs are known as installed intelligences, or I.I.s, and they are the secret to human immortality. In recent years, the installation process has opened up for the wealthy public as a means to keep family members alive after their body has died.

Review:

The premise is intriguing and drew me in. The idea of the immortal soul is not a new concept, but mix it with science and tech and you have a fascinating story. The ethics and legal barriers to such a practice could be explored more in a longer novella or novel.

Although intriguing, I could have done with a little more explanation. Short stories don’t lend themselves well to in-depth back stories or info dumps, and that’s why I think this story would work well as a longer story.


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, Books and Me

ARC Review: Raven’s Cry by Dana Fraedrich

Raven’s Cry by Dana Fraedrich 4.5/5

38323190.jpgA dark retelling of Swan Lake ~ Calandra is happiest when she’s surrounded by quiet, joined only by a book and a cup of tea, never around people and their insufferable need to make small talk. When Nicodemus, a magus with immense power, joins the royal court of Invarnis, Calandra’s life will change forever. As a terrible curse pursues her through the centuries, Calandra will have to overcome captivity, war, and loss.

In this standalone installment, set in Dana Fraedrich’s Broken Gears universe, readers will join Calandra in her battle for freedom, hope, and healing.

Raven’s Cry is out 1-5-18 !!!! Preorder your copy here.

Review:

After reading Fraedrich’s Out of the Shadows, I was keen for an ARC of Raven’s Cry. I haven’t yet read book two in the Broken Gears series, but it was easy to jump back in with this book as it is a standalone, yet still has links to Out of the Shadows for those who have read it. Don’t worry if you haven’t read the rest of the series, it won’t affect the narrative for you. Those links are only noticeable to readers of the other books.

The world building in Cali’s tale is just as thought out and imaginative. Cali’s story is tragic for centuries, but she somehow keeps her head and makes it through the torture and imprisonment at the hands of a powerful, evil magus.

Fraedrich has mastered the retelling well. I am not usually a fan of retellings, but as long as the narrative carries its weight in its own right with hints to the original, then I am a happy reader.

If you enjoy retellings, this dark retelling of Swan Lake is for you, and while you’re at it, why not get book one in the Broken Gears series?


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