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August Wrap Up

Well didn’t August just fly by?

I managed to read 8 books this month. That seems to be my average these days and I’m okay with that.

So let’s talk about the books shall we?

First up was Under The Whispering Door by TJ Klune and I have to say this was pretty average for me. I know a lot of people loved and are looking forward to it but I just felt we’ve seen it all before. Yep, nothing special for me. Thanks to the publishers for my copy. It’s out October 28tb.

Secondly this month I read Last Night At The Telegraph Club by Malindo Lo. Well I absolutely loved this book. It’s a brilliant sapphic historical fiction novel that I wish more people would read. It’s out now.

Thirdly was Magpie by Elizabeth Day. This was such a brilliant thriller novel that had so much heart and depth. This one really surprised me in the best way. It’s not my usual style of book so I was glad I got to read it. Thanks so much to the publishers for my copy. It’s out now. You can check out my full review here.

Up next I read Once Upon A Broken Heart by Stéphanie Garber. This is was big no for me. I honestly thought it was a load of nonsense. I still don’t know what the point in this book was. My worst of the month. Thanks to the publishers for my copy. It’s out September 30th.

Then I read my first Graphic Novel Heartstopper Volume 1. I absolutely loved this. It was so sweet and wholesome, with a really beautiful love story that I look forward to continuing. Beautiful illustrations too!

Sixth this month I read Defy The Night by Brigid Kemmerer. I absolutely loved this fantasy novel. It was so enjoyable, I was immediately intrigued and then it had a plot twist I didn’t see coming at all. I already can’t wait for the next one. Thanks to the publishers for my copy of this book. It’s out September 14th.

Up next I read The Antarctica of Love by Sara Stridsberg. God I absolutely loved this book. I didn’t know what to expect at all, but I loved every page. Definitely going to be one of my favourites of the year. So emotional, so gloriously written. I really hope a lot of people read this one. Thanks to the publishers for my copy. It’s out September 30th.

My last book of the month was That Reminds Me by Derek Owusu. This one started off a little rocky for me and I wasn’t sure but by the end it was a brilliant read. I kept rereading those final few pages. I loved it.

So that was it. That was my reading month.

Any interests in these? Let me know.

Until the next review

Jthbooks

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

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, author, blog, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, bookstagram, fiction, review, Uncategorised, ya, young adult

Arc Book Review: This Is My Truth by Yasmin Rahman

Title: This Is My Truth

Author: Yasmin Rahman

Publisher: Hot Key Books

Length: 381 pages

Synopsis: Amani’s family is outwardly perfect, but no one must know about the Bad Nights, when her father’s temper rages. Her best friend Huda has grown up with loving foster parents, but what will happen to her now they’re expecting a baby of their own? The two best friends hide their fears even from each other. Then a prank blog starts revealing people’s deepest, darkest secrets. Amani is terrified that her shame will be exposed. How will she survive if everybody finds out her truth?

Yasmin is fantastic at writing characters. Amani, the main character, is so well written. As a reader you instantly warm to her. She’s funny, especially with Huda. She’s personable and real. But every character had such depth, it’s amazing how it all fit in to the book. And their connections with each other are so believable. They all felt real to me.

I have to say my favourite thing about this book Is the friendship between Amani and Huda. It’s so honest and real. It’s so refreshing to see a friendship like this in a book. They talk to each other like me and my friends. It was really lovely to read. Of course, they have their ups and downs but that made it even more realistic. It made me smile.

Now, this book does deal with some incredibly difficult things and it doesn’t shy away from them. These scenes are hard to read at times but they need to be. Yasmin brings honesty to them. They are very real. But I truly think they are handled brilliantly, nothing is there for shock factor. You see the situation escalate until it becomes unbearable for the characters.

I’ve also never read about this situation looking at from a child’s view. This is the young adult genre at its best, when books are dealing with real issues and helping people. So many young readers will unfortunately relate to this situation, but I think they’ll be able to find so solace in this book.

This Is My Truth had me gripped from beginning to end, filled with important storytelling, fantastic relatable characters and brilliant friendships. I couldn’t recommend this book enough.

Thanks to Hot Key Books for my copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out July 22nd.

Until the next review

Jthbooks

#fantasy, #fiction, #literature, #yafantasy, author, blog, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, bookstagram, fiction, gay, historical fiction, lgbt, review, Uncategorised, ya, young adult

Books I’m looking forward to in the second half of the year!

Now, I’ve never done a post like this before mainly because I never, ever know what’s coming out. But I’ve done my research as to what’s coming out later in the year and I’ve found some I’m excited about.

1) The Magician by Colm Tóibín

I crave Queer historical fiction and this one sounds like it could be it. I absolutely loved Brooklyn and I’m excited to see what this author does. Set in the period of WWII and featuring a queer main character. Yes please. I’m also very lucky to have a proof of it, so I will be reading it soon.

2) Gods & Monsters by Shelby Mahurin

This is the conclusion to this epic trilogy. I fell in love with the first book Serpent & Dove, I am so excited to see where this book ends. I’m excited (and a little scared) to see what happens to my beloved characters. This is really the only series I’m a Stan for. I own two copies of the first to books and I’ve already got two copies of this ordered. So yes, I’m very excited. It’s out in August.

3) Redemptor by Jordan Ifueko

I loved Raybearer. Absolutely loved it. It was my favourite fantasy of last year. I could to be more excited for this book. So excited. I can’t wait to see where this book goes and how this brilliant duology wraps up. Please don’t disappoint me. It’s out in August.

3) Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr.

I love All The Light We Cannot See, is a brilliant book and I’ve been looking forward to Anthony Doerrs book for so long and I’m excited. I don’t even really want to know what it’s about. I just want to be taken away in this story. My expectations are very high. It’s out in September.

4) The Island of Missing Trees by Elif Shafak. I am very excited for this one. Elif is a beautiful writer and I’m excited to read more of her lyrical prose. I don’t know much of what this one is about and I’m keeping it that way on purpose. I just want to be swept away. It’s out on August 5th.

5) Aristotle and Dante Dive Into the Waters of the World by Benjamin Alire Sáenz. I need this book. I need it so bad. I’m so looking forward to going back to this world. These characters. It’s out October 12th.

That’s it, these are the novels I’m looking forward to in the second half of 2021. I’m sure there’s going to be more added to this list. My poor bank account.

Let me know if you plan on reading any of these.

Until the next review

Jthbooks

blog, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, fiction, gay, lgbt, queer, review, Uncategorised, ya, young adult

June Wrap Up

Ahhhh June. My favourite month. Why I here you ask? Well, because it’s Pride Month.

Now, I always make it my own personal little mission in June to read Queer books by Queer Authors. This month was a bit of a struggle be she if I was trying to read ARCs, but I still managed it.

I only read 7 books this month. It’s probably the least I’ve read but my mental health took a huge dip for a while.

So let’s talk about them shall we?

I started off the month with Fifteen Hundred Miles From The Sun by Jonny Garza Villa. I read this from Netgalley, so thanks to the publishers for the copy. I really enjoyed this one. It was sweet, romantic and I loved the story. It definitely dealt with some tough things but it handles them so beautifully. Such a fantastic book. It’s out now.

Secondly I read The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri. I absolutely loved this book. It’s a brilliant Indian inspired fantasy book that I was totally captivated by. Also, more queer fantasy. Amazing characters. A plot that had me on the edge of my seat. I feel the romance could’ve been better but I think it’ll be explored more in book two. I’m so excited for the second one. Thanks to the publishers for my copy. It’s out now.

Thirdly I read Mainstream edited by Nathan Evans and Justin David. This is a wonderful short story collection that showcases so many writers from the edges. It’s filled with such varied stories that really keep the reader entertained. Thanks to Inkandescent for my copy. It’s out now and I’m on the blog tour for this one.

Up next I read Everybody In This Room Will Be Dead by Emily Austin. I can see what this one was trying to do but for me, it unfortunately didn’t work. There was something missing. I’m not even sure what it was. Maybe lack of connection to the characters. I just don’t know. It’s out July 8th if you fancy it. Thanks to the publishers for my copy.

Then I read The Passing Playbook by Isaac Fitzsimons. This was absolutely my favourite read of the month. A full five stars. I loved it. A brilliant important story, showing trans people should be allowed to play all sports. And a fantastic romance. I just loved it! Loved it. Thanks to the publishers for my copy. It’s out now.

Sixth this month I read The Poison Heart by Kalynn Bayron. Another brilliant fantasy book. I felt this was really fresh and new. I didn’t know what to expect but I absolutely loved it. You can check out my full review here Thanks to the publishers for my copy. It’s out now.

Lastly I read The Dangerous Kingdom of Love by Neil Blackmore. Oh I wanted to love this one so badly. So badly. I didn’t love the authors first one and I was desperate to love this one. But I didn’t. I crave queer historical fiction but this didn’t do it for me. I didn’t like the characters. I didn’t like the romance. I just think with the story and the time period it was set in, it could’ve been brilliant. But it fell flat. It fell flat in every way. Thanks to the publishers for my copy. It’s out in July.

So that was it for me this month. Do you plan on picking any of these up? Or have you read some? Let me know.

Until the next review

Jthbooks

#fantasy, #yafantasy, blog, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, bookstagram, fiction, gay, review, Uncategorised, ya, young adult

Book Review: The Poison Heart by Kalynn Bayron.

Title: The Poison Heart

Author: Kalynn Bayron

Publisher: Bloomsbury YA

Length: 370 pages

Synopsis: Briseis has a gift. She can grow an apple tree from seed in a heartbeat, and flowers bloom at her touch. But she and her adoptive mothers have spent her whole life trying to hide her extraordinary powers. And then Briseis inherits an old house from her birth mother and suddenly has the privacy to test herself for the first time. But as Bri starts to magic the house’s rambling grounds back to life she finds she has also inherited generations of secrets. In a hidden garden overgrown with the most deadly poisonous plants on earth a dark legacy lies waiting for her. And Bri’s long-departed ancestors won’t let her rest until she finds it.

Let’s first just mention how unbelievably beautiful this cover is. We all agree? Good.

I didn’t know too much about this book going in, as I wanted to be surprised and I can’t tell you how much I loved this book. It was brilliant.

There is just so much to love about The Poison Heart. It was full of fantastic characters, an engaging story and brilliant magic system.

We follow the character of Briseis, who is left a house by her birth mothers family and with her mums they decide to spend the summer there. I loved the beginning of this book and getting to know Briseis. She really is a wonderful character to follow. She’s funny, kind and I just instantly warmed to her. I also really loved her parents. So much. So, so much.

I also just have to say how much I loved the family Kalynn has written. It’s so wonderful to see a queer family written so beautifully. The dynamics, the love and the joy between Briseis and her parents was one of my favourite things about this book and I think it should be celebrated. I really loved reading it.

I really loved the magic in this book, it was I unlike anything I’ve read before. And it’s great to see something new in YA. I loved that Briseis was still learning about her powers as the reader did, it really helped to form that connection with her. I love how it ties in with her family. It’s just so expansive, but I’ll let you discover all that when you read the book.

Let’s talk about the ending shall we? I knew something was about to go down and I couldn’t figure it out. But let me tell you, I never would’ve figured it out. It was brilliant. It was suspenseful, shocking and heartbreaking. It’s the kind of ending you message your friends about because you need to talk about it. But that’s all I’ll say. No spoilers!!!

So basically I really loved this book and now I desperately want to read book two. This is a fantastic fantasy novel that will have you turning the pages and it’ll only leave you wanting more.

Thank you so much to Bloomsbury YA kids for my copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out Tomorrow (June29th)

Until the next review

Jthbooks

#contemporary, #fiction, author, blog, blogtour, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, bookstagram, fiction, review, Uncategorised, ya, young adult

ARC Book Review: Slingshot by Mercedes Helnwein.

Title: Slingshot

Author: Mercedes Helnwein

Publisher: Panmacmillan

Length: 334 pages

Synopsis: Grace Welles has resigned herself to the particular loneliness of being fifteen and stuck at a third-tier boarding school in the swamps of Florida, when she accidentally saves the new kid in her class from being beaten up. With a single aim of a slingshot, the monotonous mathematics of her life are obliterated forever… because now there is a boy in it that she never asked for. Wade Scholfield. With Wade, Grace discovers a new way to exist. School rules are optional, life is bizarrely perfect, and conversations about wormholes can lead to make-out sessions that disrupt and logical stream if thought. So why does Grace crush Wade’s heart into a million tiny pieces? And what are her options when she finally realises that 1. The universe doesn’t evolve around her, and 2. Wade has been hiding a dark secret? Is Grace the only person unhinged enough to save him?

Look, is this a bad book? No absolutely not. Is it a great book? No absolutely not. Is this book pretty meh? Yes, yes it is.

I need to talk about the main character, Gracie, who in the first 100 pages is so annoying. Extremely annoying. She made me want to put the book down and never pick it up. She’s got such a bad attitude, and I know she’s meant to, and I can tell the other characters find it charming but as a reader I absolutely do not. And I think she’s meant to get better as the book progresses but again, nope.

Now lets talk about the romance or romances? I guess it’s actually a sort of love triangle. And I don’t get it. Why are these two boys in love with the her? One of the romances is actually pretty sweet, but it did happen very quickly. It definitely feels very shallow. And the other one just has no connection for me, it is more of a boy being in love with Gracie and she doesn’t feel the same but I’m still sitting here saying why are they all obsessed with her??

Here’s the thing, there isn’t much of a plot to this book. It’s all about finding your first love and having all those experiences. Maybe it’s because I’m too old for this kind of book, but it needs more! I didn’t believe the romances and the book sort of depends on them.

Like I said this isn’t a totally bad book, I just think to myself am I going to remember anything about this book in two weeks? I won’t, there’s so much brilliant young adult books out there at the moment with fantastic, important messages and this isn’t one of them.

Thank you so much to panmacmillan for my copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review, it’s out April 29th.

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