#fiction, #literature, author, blog, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, fiction, literary ficton, review, Uncategorised, ya

ARC Book Review: The Antarctica of Love by Sara Stridsberg.

Title: The Antarctica of Love

Author: Sara Stridsberg (translated by Deborah Bragan-Turner)

Publisher: MacLehose Press

Length: 272 pages

Synopsis: Inni is a rebellious teenager, a volatile young woman, a drug user, a sex worker, an unstable mother… she loves her life on the margins, but it is a life that is full, complex, filled with different shades of dark and light. Until it is brutally ended one summer’s day, on a lake shore at the heart of a distant, rain-washed forest. But Inni’s story doesn’t end with her murder. We sit with her as she watches her children, parents and friends living on in the world without her, hoping, as time passes, that they will still remember her.

I read the synopsis of The Antarctica of Love and just thought it sounded so interesting and intriguing, so I was very lucky when MacLehose Press sent me an early copy.

The Antarctica of Love is beautifully written. I really mean it. It’s gorgeous. It’s so beautifully written that it almost feels ethereal even though it deals with such a horrible subject matter. There were points on this book that the writing is so beautiful and Sara Stridsberg took the novel to places I didn’t expect it to go, that it made me cry.

The novel begins with Inni being murdered and it is so impactful. It is absolutely brutal at times, but Sara has some struck the perfect balance between the hard hitting acts of violence committed against Inni, and the tangible vulnerability of human connection. I’m not sure I’ve ever read a book that is so full of tenderness yet packs a real punch. It’s brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.

You can’t help but feel for Inni, as you learn about how life and how it lead to the point of her murder. And I loved Sara’s choice to make the reader experience Inni looking back on her life after her depth and then to see all other characters she’d left behind. It was unlike anything I’ve ever read before, as was this book.

It amazes me how Sara has packed so much depth in the story, in the characters and their connections. It’s one of my favourite things about this exquisite novel. There is so much to unpack. It deals with loss, death, addiction, grief and love.

There is such a sense of sadness and heartbreak about this novel but it’s never overwhelming as it’s also full of love. And Sara’s writing elevates the book to even higher heights. It’s the kind of book you tell your friends about at work because you can’t stop thinking about it and you want them to read it too. It’s that good.

It has also been beautifully translated by Deborah Bragan-Turner.

I was wonderfully surprised at how much I loved The Antarctica of Love. There is no doubt it’s ine of my favourite reads of the year. I hope it’ll be nominated for the international Booker prize next year as it fully deserves to be. It’s book I won’t forget for a long time and I don’t think you will either.

Thank you so much to Katya and MacLehose Press for my copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out September 30th.

Until the next review

Jthbooks

#contemporary, #fiction, #literature, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, fiction, literary ficton, review, thriller, Uncategorised, ya

ARC Book Review: Magpie by Elizabeth Day

Title: Magpie

Author: Elizabeth Day

Publisher: 4thestate

Length: 336 pages

Synopsis: Marisa may have only known Jake a few months, but she has never felt this certain about anyone. When he asks her tk move in with him and they start trying for a baby, she knows she has finally found the steadfast love and support she has been looking for all her life. But their relationship is tested when they take in a lodger, Kate, who has little regard for personal boundaries and seems to take an uncomfortable interest in Jake – as well as the baby they are hoping to have. Why is Kate so obsessed with the couple? And, more worryingly, why doesn’t Jake share Marisa’s concern? In her determination to find the answers, Marisa risks losing everything she holds dear…

Magpie feels like a tale of two halves, which in this case isn’t a bad thing, the first half feels taut with suspense and wonder, while the second half is an exploration on motherhood, love and forgiveness. Day manages to keep the novel cohesive with a plot twist that moves the story to another level of excellence.

Now, let’s talk about the plot twist. I had my ideas of what I thought would happen, and I was desperately trying to guess and I got it wrong! I didn’t see it coming and I was really shocked! I love it when an author pulls off a good plot twist and Elizabeth does just that!

Also the characters were fantastic in this book. I couldn’t help but like Kate. I literally said to myself while reading it that I really like Kate. I liked Marisa too and Jake. For a thriller like this to work you have to have believable, likeable characters and Elizabeth Day has done just that.

This is hard to explain without giving any spoilers and I really don’t want to do that, but I love how Elizabeth has connected they story before and after the plot twist. It really made it cohesive and was such a smart decision. It really makes the novel feel whole. Magpie really shows Elizabeth’s talent as writer as she handles both the psychological thriller and the emotional moments phenomenally. And it gives the story and every character such depth.

It is a book that deals with mental illness and I was grateful that it wasn’t exploited. Marisa wasn’t made into a villain, or made to be evil. Things that happen (without spoilers) are the consequences of her actions and intentions that were good. I think it’s balanced really well. And let’s be honest we all know who the real villain of this book is. You’ll know who when you read it!

Magpie is a fast-paced, thrilling, emotional read that will keep its reading guessing, wanting to know more and is one of the best thrillers I’ve read. It really is a book you won’t be able to forget for a long time.

Thanks so much to Liv at 4thestate for my copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out September 2nd

Until the next review

Jthbooks

#contemporary, #fiction, #literature, author, blog, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, historical fiction, literary ficton, review, Uncategorised, ya

Arc Book Review: Damnation Spring by Ash Davidson

Title: Damnation Spring

Author: Ash Davidson

Publisher: Tinderpress

Length: 442 pages

Synopsis: For generations, Rich Gundersen’s family has made a living felling giant redwoods on California’s rugged coast. It’s treacherous work, and though his son Chub wants nothing more than to set into his father’s boots, Rich longs for a bigger future for him. Colleen just wants a brother or sister for Chub, but she’s losing hope. There’s so much that she and Rich don’t talk about these days – including her suspicion that there is something very wrong at the heart of the forest in which their community is built. When Rich is offered the opportunity to buy a plot of timber which borders Damnation Grove, he leaps at the chance – without telling Colleen. Soon the Gundersens find themselves on opposite sides of a battle that threatens to rip their town apart. Can’t they find a way to emerge from this together?

This a strange book for me to review as I went through so many stages of what I felt about this book. At times I thought it was average, at times wonderful, then totally captured by the story and then let down.

I’ll start with the positives, the characters in this are quite incredible. From the very first pages they felt so real. I just felt like I knew them, like I was reading about real people. I think the best character in the book was Colleen. I think Ash Davidson really captured what she was going through incredibly well, it was so moving and heartbreaking. Ash Davidson really can write characters.

This book also tackles some hard-hitting points, such as deforestation, the taking of Native American land and the poisonous spray the used to help with the deforestation. It felt like this book was going to make some really powerful points. The first three quarters of the novel felt like a social commentary of the time this book was set and how everyone felt about the changes happening and it was really interesting.

It wasn’t till about 75% into the book that I realised how attached how had become to the story and the characters when Colleen went against the town people to fight against the poison and the story felt tense and taught. I thought the story was going to go down that route but I was wrong. Then when an incident happened with Chub, the son of the two main characters, I found myself quite emotional and then I thought this book was excellent.

However, then after the incident with Chub, another incident with his father happened and it felt like the whole novel changed course. The two shocking incidents almost cancelled each other out and totally lost their impact. It felt the author just went for shock factor. I couldn’t help but feel let down. The more I thought about it the more it just ruined the story for me.

When these incidences happened, everything else got forgotten about. The poisonous spray, the deforestation, the towns people, the Native American protesting deforestation and conflict between them just never got resolved or even mentioned again. It was strange and slightly jarring. It felt like this meticulously detailed novel and the build up was for nothing.

So when I take all this into consideration Damnation Spring can only come out as an average read for me. I think the thing I’ll remember it for is the disappointing ending and such much promise gone to waste.

Thank you to the publishers for my copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out August 3rd.

Until the next review

Jthbooks

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July Wrap Up

Another month has come and gone. And I had a reading month that was very varied. Some of these books will potentially be in my favourites at the end of the year. Some I found disappointing. Read below to find our which ones I loved.

I only managed 8 books this month, mainly because one of the ones I didn’t enjoy to me forever to get through. I hoping to read more for the month of August because so many books are on my tbr!

So let’s talk about these books shall we?

First up was She Who Became The Sun by Shelly Parker-Chan. This was one of my most anticipated releases for the year, but unfortunately it let me down. I started this June 26th and it took me so long to read it mainly because I just couldn’t get into it. There was some beautiful writing and I liked what it had to say about gender, but the rest didn’t do it for me. At all. I found the story especially in the beginning and middle dragged for me. The ending was definitely better than the beginning I will say that. But I definitely seem to be in the minority with this one, as lots of other people seem to love it. Thank you to the publishers for my copy. It’s out now.

Then I read Meet Me In Another Life by Catriona Silvey. I did enjoy this one, but I just think it could’ve been better. We don’t say this very often but I think this book could’ve benefited from being longer. I felt the ending was a bit rushed and we needed more detail into what was actually happening. But overall I did enjoy this book. I loved the connections between the stories and how the plot unraveled. It just needed a better ending. Thanks to the publishers for my copy. It’s out now.

Thirdly I read Conversations on Love by Natasha Lunn. This features many different authors that Natasha has interviews and it’s a truly wonderful book. It’s moving, heartwarming and helpful. And being nearly thirty and single I needed reminding that it’s ok. I really recommend this book. So many interesting perspectives on love, loss and everything in between. Thanks to the publishers for my copy. It’s out now.

Up next I read The Island of Missing Trees by Elif Shafak. Hands down one of my favourite books of the year. It’s so beautifully written, so clever and engaging. It has so much packed into, yet I was left with a smile on my face when I finished it. I absolutely loved it. Will definitely be in my top 10 books of the year. Thanks to the publishers for my copy. It’s out August 5th. You can check out my full review here.

Then I read This Is My Truth by Yasmin Rahman. This is a really hard hitting young adult book that features some really difficult subject matter. It can be hard to read at times, but it was still brilliant. Full of great characters and wonderful friendships, it was hard to put down. Thanks to the publishers for my copy. It’s out now. You can check out my full review here.

Sixth this month I read Crying In H Mart by Michelle Zauber. This is a truly special memoir. It’s filled with food that you’ll want to eat and relationship between a Mother and Daughter that’ll break your heart. It details loss and grief in a nuanced and powerful way. It really made me emotional in places. I can’t recommend this one enough. Thanks to the publishers for my copy. It’s out August 5th.

Up next I read Damnation Spring by Ash Davidson. This one started with such promise but ultimately I was let down by the ending. It felt like the author threw away the detailed for 3/4 of this move for a shock factor ending. It was so disappointing. It did have fantastic characters though, that I won’t forget. Lots of potential in this book that unfortunately wasn’t fulfilled. Thanks to the publishers for my copy. It’s out August 3rd.

Eight this month I read The Magician by Colm Tóibín. This was one of my most anticipated reads of the year and for it fell totally flat. It was so disappointing. I was missing feeling anything towards the characters. I felt absolutely nothing for them. I was just incredibly uninterested in the whole book. Thanks to the publishers for my copy. It’s out September 23rd.

So that’s it! That was my reading month.

Are you planning on reading any of these? Or have you read any? Let me know.

Until the next review

Jthbooks

#fiction, #literature, author, blog, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, fiction, lgbt, literary ficton, review, Uncategorised, ya, young adult

ARC Book Review: The Island of Missing Trees by Elif Shafak

Title: The Island of Missing Trees

Author: Elif Shafak

Publisher: Viking Books Penguin Random House

Length: 343 pages

Synopsis: Two teenagers, a Greek Cypriot and a Turkish Cypriot, meet at a taverna on the island they both call home. The taverna is the only place that Kostas and Defne can meet in secret, hidden beneath the blackened beams from which hang garlands of garlic and chilli peppers, creeping honeysuckle, and in the centre, growing through a cavity in the floor, a fig tree. The fig tree witnesses their hushed, happy meetings; their silent, surreptitious departures. The fig tree is there, too, when war breaks out, when the capital is reduced to ashes and rubble, when the teenagers vanish. Decades later, Kostas returns – a botanist, looking for native species- looking really, for Defne. The two lovers return to the taverna to take a clipping from the fig tree and smuggle it into their suitcase, bound for London. Years later, the fig tree in the garden is their daughter Ada’s only knowledge of a home she had never visited, as she seeks to untangle years of secrets and silence, and find her place in the world.

I need to start by saying that this book was one of my most highly anticipated books of the year and I feel very lucky and grateful to have been given a proof copy.

I love this book. I love it so much. I don’t think any review I’ll write will ever be able to do it justice. To capture what makes this book so special I know you’ll have to read it. And you won’t be disappointed when you do.

From the very beginning of The Island of Missing Trees you are immediately swept away by the glorious writing. Elif manages to evoke such beautiful imagery throughout the book with some of the most evocative writing I’ve read.

As we follow the love story of Kostas and Defne, who find young and forbidden love before civil war breaks out in Cyprus, and the effects it has on Ada their child as a teenager. I was immediately drawn to these characters because they are so real. They way Elif shows how the past trauma can carry on for generations is so poignant. You can feel Ada yearning to know more about parts of her. I also have a special place in my heart for Yusuf and Yiorgos, a gay couple who run The Happy Fig Kostas and Defne meeting spot. I always love to see LGBTQ+ representation in books, especially when it’s this well done. But did I expect anything less from Elif? No, no I did not.

Another thing Elif captures in the book is humanity and connection. Through characters and world conflicts, Elif captures the importance of connections to others, to where we come from and to ourselves. She conveys the complexity and lasting effects for the people living through wars, both those who stayed and fled, in the most profound and heartbreaking ways.

Partly narrated by the The Fig Tree, Elif reminds us how important and how connected we are to the natural world. I have to say I really loved these sections, they were my favourite of the book. It’s fiction writing at its finest. The way Elif had an animals visiting the tree and how they moved the narrative forward really is something special.

Although the book deals with Civil War and loss, it’s also full of hope. It’s a reminder to live life with an open heart, an open mind and to be accepting of joy in your life. It’s a book that has so much depth to it and so many layers.

There’s no denying the Elif is a master storyteller. She captures the complexities and nuances of the human spirit like no other author. It’s remarkable. By the end of the book I was smiling and it brings a smile to my face to even think of the book. It’s the kind of book I was telling my friends about at work, the kind of book I couldn’t wait to get home and read, the kind of book I’m looking forward to reading again.

There’s no doubt this will be in my top 10 books of the year.

Until the next review

Jthbooks

#contemporary, #fiction, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, bookstagram, fiction, gay, lgbt, literary ficton, review, Uncategorised, ya

Book Review: What’s Mine And Yours by Naima Coster

Title: What’s Mine and Yours

Author: Naima Coster

Publisher: Trapeze Books

Length: 337 pages

Synopsis: When a county initiative in the Piedmont of North Carolina forces the students at a mostly black public school on the east side to move across town to a nearly all white high school on the west, the community rises in outrage. For two students, quiet and aloof Gee and headstrong Noelle, these divisions will extend far beyond their schooling. As their paths collide and overlap over the course of thirty years, their two seemingly disconnected families begin to form deeply knotted, messy ties that shape the trajectory of their lives. On one side of the school integration debate is Jade, Gee’s steely, single, black mother, grieving for her murdered partner, and determined for her son to have the best chance at a better life. On the other, is Noelle’s enterprising mother, Lacey May, who refuses to see her half-Latina daughters as anything but white. The choices these mothers make will resound for years to come. And twenty years later, when Lacey’s daughter return home to visit her in hospital, they’re forced to confront the ways their parents’ decisions continue to affect the life they live and the people they love.

What’s Mine and Yours is a captivating read that I couldn’t put down an was gripped by till the very last page.

Throughout the book you follow many different characters, and we slowly see how all their lives connect. I really love when a book does this and I have to say Naima Coster does it really well. It was really interesting to see these characters at certain points in their lives and grow to care for them and then to see their actions. It’s obviously a part of Naima intention to make you question how their actions affect how you feel about them. There are definitely characters in this book that you won’t forget for along time.

Naima creates genuine connections between the characters and they are all so real and complex. Whether it was romantic relationships or familial, they were absolutely captivating.

This book deals with some very hard things to read (triggers warnings for racism and violence). It’s really thought provoking and anger inducing. To tackles aspects of racism that I haven’t seen in a novel before, and then goes onto explore the affects it has on these characters and it’s absolutely heartbreaking to read. Yet it doesn’t feel to heavy at any point, and there are moments of real joy throughout and loving relationships.

There was a plot twist at the end of this book that I didn’t see coming and when it arrived it was really gut-wrenching. I really had to sit with it for a while.

This is a utterly enjoyable read that will make you think and you’ll want to discuss this books with all of your friends. It’s the perfect book club selection.

Thank you so much to Ellen for gifting me with a copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out May 27th.

Until the next review

Jthbooks

blog, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, bookstagram, fiction, gay, historical fiction, lgbt, literary ficton, queer, review, Uncategorised, ya, young adult

May Wrap Up

Another month has come and gone. I managed to read 10 books this month. I think I could’ve done more but I got ill at the end of the month and it really slowed me down. I was on such a roll.

There were some books I enjoyed this month, but mostly it was average. Not any ill necessarily remember or rave about. Oh well, there’s always next month.

So lets talk about the books shall we?

First up I read Assembly by Natasha Brown. This novel is only 100 pages but it sure does pack a punch. There are so many interesting aspects to the book that I wanted it to be longer but I think its shortness is what makes it special. Thanks to the publishers for my gifted copy. It’s out June 8th.

Secondly I read We Run The Tides by Vendela Vida. This book was very middle of the road for me. The writing was just okay, the story was just okay. I just felt like it all could’ve gone further. I just don’t think its a book I’ll remember. Thanks to the publishers for my gifted copy of this book. It’s out now.

Up next I read The Secret Life of Albert Entwistle by Matt Cain. I really enjoyed this book. It was a really sweet, wonderful story that I just got lost in and didn’t want to end. Thanks to the publishers for my gifted copy of book. It’s out now.

Fourth this month I read Black buck by Mateo Askaripour. I loved the first half of this novel, I thought it was entertaining and intriguing and had a real message. The second half just lost it for me. There was a reveal which really bought the novel down for me. I don’t know why. Definitely not a bad book, just definitely could’ve been a lot better. Thanks to the publishers for my gifted copy of this book. It’s out now.

Up next I read The Wolf Den by Elodie Harper. I loved the premise of this story but something about it fell flat for me. I wanted so much from it. It needed more description, more depth. I kept willing it to give me more. It wasn’t a bad book, it just could’ve been so much better. I didn’t feel any emotional attachment to the characters. Thanks to the publishers for my gifted copy of this book. It’s out now.

Sixth this month I read Diamond Hill by Kit Fan. This one started off slowly for me and I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it but I ended up really enjoying it. It had moments of beautiful writing and fantastic, in-depth characters.

Seventh was What’s Mine and Yours by Naima Coster. There was a lot to like about this novel, strong complex characters, a gripping story with an important message. There’s nothing stand out about it, but it was definitely a good read. Thanks to the publishers for my copy. It’s out now.

Then I read The Fortune Men by Nadia Mohamed. This one was based on a true story and it’s really captivating and infuriating in the best way. It maybe dragged at the beginning, but this one is definitely worth a read. Thanks to the publishers for my copy. It’s out now.

Up next I read The Wolf and The Woodsman by Ava Reid. You know, this one just wasn’t for me. It took me an age to read it, I couldn’t get into it. I could see what the author was trying to do, but they didn’t pull it off in my opinion. But I know a lot of people have loved this one. Thanks to the publishers for my copy. It’s out now.

Lastly I read Heaven by Mieko Kawakami. I really enjoyed this book, although due to its subject matter it was hard to read a times. It was another short novel but really packs a punch. I won’t forget this one for a while. Thanks to the publishers for my copy. It’s out June 10th.

That’s it for me this month. Are you going to read any of these? Or have you and you didn’t like them? Let me know!

Until the next review

Jthbooks

#fiction, #literature, author, blog, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, historical fiction, lgbt, literary ficton, queer, review, Uncategorised, ya, young adult

Still Life by Sarah Winman

Title: Still Life

Author: Sarah Winman

Publisher: 4thestatebooks

Length: 487 pages

This is the proof copy, the final copy of the book is beyond beautiful.

Synopsis: It’s 1944 and in the ruined wine cellar of a Tuscan villa, as the Allied troops advance and bombs fall around them, two strangers meet and share an extraordinary evening together. Ulysses Temper is a young British Soldier and one-time globe-maker, Evelyn Skinner is a sexagenarian art historian and possible spy. She has come to Italy to salvage paintings from the ruins and relive her memories of the time she encountered E.M. Forster and had her heart stolen by an Italian maid in particular Florentine room with a view. These two unlikely people find kindred spirits in each other and Evelyn’s talk of truth and beauty plants a seen in Uylsses’s mind that will shape the trajectory of his life – and of those who love him – for the next four decades.

In Still Life Sarah Winman captures the essence of what it means to be human. It will remind you the importance of being yourself and the wonder of human connection. It’s beautiful, it’s ethereal and its how all books should make you feel. There’s no doubt this will be one of my favourite books of 2021. It’ll probably be one of yours too.

One of the many things that shines in this book is the characters. I’ve never read characters like this before. Sarah has crafted characters that are so complex, so real. The way these characters came to life is astounding to me. Sarah makes you care for everyone of these characters. I still do care for them. I read this two months ago, and i still care about them. They’ll stay with me long after I’ve finished the book.

Also, I’m so glad Evelyn got her own section in the book. I could read a whole book on her. Evelyn has my whole heart. I loved her. And her friendship with Dotty. I love them.

Just a warning this book make you want to travel to Italy.

The connections Sarah creates between the characters is phenomenal, their is an intimacy in the simplicity in the conversations, in the way they know each other, how they feel about each other. It’s a part of what made these characters feel so real. It’s what makes the book unforgettable. It’s what makes me think about the novel even though I read it months ago. I’ve never known another author to create such honest, full connections in a book.

Sarah’s writing is just absolutely stunning. It’s beautiful. I cried because of the story but I also cried because of the beautiful writing. It just hits you right in the heart. Every so often there was a sentence that captured the soul of the character, or described what its like it be human. It’s brilliant. I was basically just weeping for the last quarter of this book. I need all books to be written this well.

I didn’t want this book to end but I couldn’t put it down. I just can’t stop thinking about this book. This book reminds me to have hope, you nebr know what or who’s around the corner. These characters live in my heart now. I adored this book from beginning to end.

Thank you so much to 4thestate books for gifting me with a copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out June 10th.

Until the next review

Jthbooks

#fiction, blog, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, books, fiction, gay, lgbt, literary ficton, queer, Uncategorised, ya

Book Review: The Secret Life of Albert Entwistle by Matt Cain

Title: The Secret Life of Albert Entwistle

Author: Matt Cain

Publisher: Headline

Length: 464 pages

You’ll understand the Crunchie when you read the book.

Synopsis: 64-year-old Albert Entwistle has been postie in a quiet town in Northern England for all his life, living alone since the seat of his mam 18 years ago. He keeps himself to himself. He always has. But he’s just learned he’ll be forced to retire at his next birthday. With no friends and nothing to look forward to, the lonely future he faces terrifies him. He realises it’s finally time to be honest about who he is. He must learn to ask for what he wants. And he must find the courage to look for George, the man that, many years ago, he lost – but has never forgot…

The Secret Life of Albert Entwistle is a reminder that it’s never to late to follow our hearts and be who we are.

There’s so much to love about this book. It’s got fantastic characters, a heartwarming story and an important message. It’s full of charm, heart and joy.

We follow Albert who keeps himself to himself and hides who he is from the outside world. Alberts journey is one of my favourite things about this book. To see him come into his own is so wonderful. And I really like how Matt has done it, it’s gradual and subtle. You’ll just fall in love with him. I also loved seeing make connections with other people, especially Nicole.

Nicole was also a great character to follow throughout the book. I loved the friendship that they formed. I also loved how their friendship was based on them both following their hearts.

Oh the romance. I thought it was beautiful. I was longing to Albert to reunited with George. No spoilers here so I won’t say if it happens but the whole thing had a real quality to it. The sections that go into the past so were so sweet but heartbreaking. Matt really captures the atmosphere of the time.

I really like how this novel tackles internalised homophobia, we need more of this in commercial fiction. You can see where Albert still has moments of shame as he is learning to accept himself, and its done so well. You can also see it when Albert meets the gay couple that moves into the village. I also really liked how Matt captures the atmosphere of Alberts childhood and how it stayed with him. It’s something we see so often and I think Matt handles it with real integrity and honesty.

Also, while reading this I couldn’t help but think this will make a brilliant tv series.

The Secret Life of Albert Entwistle really was a wonderful read that you won’t want to put down and one with characters you’ll fall in love with. It’s also pride next month and this is the perfect read for it. Don’t miss this one.

Thank so much to Headline Review for my copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out May 27th.

Until the next review

Jthbooks

#fiction, #literature, blog, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, bookstagram, fiction, gay, historical fiction, lgbt, literary ficton, queer, Uncategorised, ya

Book Review: The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Title: The Song of Achilles

Author: Madeline Miller

Length: 352 pages

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Synopsis: Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the court of King Peleus and his perfect son Achilles. Despite their differences, Achilles befriends the shamed prince, and as they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine, their bond blossoms into something deeper – despite the displeasure of Achilles’s mother Thetis, a cruel sea goddess. But when word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, Achilles must go to war in distant Troy and fulfill his destiny. Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus goes with him, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they hold dear.

We’ve all got those books that we heard about and just had to have? And then they just sat on out bookshelves for years? Yep, that was Song of Achilles for me. And I’m glad to say I have finally read it.

Now, what I’m not so pleased to say is that I found this book incredibly disappointing. So many people love this book and when I put it on my bookstagram that was reading it everyone told me how much I’d love it. But I didn’t. I really didn’t.

In the first half of the book focuses on Patroclus who meets Achilles and as the grow up together they slowly fall in love. And the second half is dealing with Patroclus and Achilles at the Trojan war.

For me, the main focus in this book is the love story between Patroclus and Achilles and ultimately it just didn’t do it for me. I was promised an epic love story and it didn’t deliver. It felt shallow and trite. If I had this book at the beginning of my queer book journey I might’ve loved it more but I’ve read much better love stories. I didn’t feel any connection to the characters or the love story. It was a big miss for me.

The second half of the book was so boring. I just wanted it to end. Especially because I didn’t care for the characters meant I didn’t care what happened to them. So when Patroclus died I didn’t care. I didn’t even cry and I cry at everything.

What I did like about this book was the Ancient Greek element. I found it super interesting and I would’ve liked to read more about it. Maybe there’s better books out there set in this period. I know Madeline has another book out but after reading this I don’t think I’ll be picking it up anytime soon.

Maybe my expectations were just too high for this book? Or maybe it just wasn’t good. Let’s go with that. Like I said, I’m glad to have read it but what I’ll remember most about how disappointing it is.

Until the next review

Jthbooks