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December Wrap Up

Phew, December was not a great reading month for me. It got off to a bad start when i DNF’d two books, which I never do. Although I’m not going to actually class them as proper DNF’s because i do plan on picking them up again at some point. And then I think it took me nearly two weeks to finish my first book. It’s not like me at all.

I finally did get going and I finished five books this month, which isn’t very many for me, but as well know its not the amount you read, its what you learn from each book and how much you enjoy them.

So lets talk about the five books shall we?

First I read The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. This has been on my shelf for a long time and I had high expectations but ultimately it was disappointing for me. I know people love this one, but for me it just had so much missing. It wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t my favourite. I’m gutted I didn’t love it, but there’s plenty more books on my shelves.

Up next I read Heartbreak Boys by Simon James Green. This was my favourite of the month, I loved it. I love what Simon is doing for Queer UKYA. It’s a sweet, funny road trip romance between to young boys with an important message. You can check out my full review here.

Thirdly, I read All The Young Men by Ruth Coker Burks. This just wasn’t it for me. It’s a memoir, but I’m struggling to see what the intentions of the book was. The balance was just totally of for me. Thank you to Orion for my copy and its out on January 21st if you’d like to check it out.

Then I read The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah. This was a brillant historical fiction book. If you loved The Nightingale by this author, you’ll love this one. It’s got a gripping story and characters you’ll love. It had me crying at the end. Thank you so much to panmacmillon for my copy of this book. It’s out February 2nd.

Lastly, I read insatiable by Daisy Buchanan. This to was a really important book. It’s modern, it’s filthy and it has a brilliant message. It definitely made me laugh out loud a few times. Thank you to Sphere books for my copy. It’s out February 11th.

So that’s it for my reading month. Let’s hope in January I can get my reading mojo back. Especially as I’m back in lockdown and what am I going to do besides read?

Until the next review

Jthbooks

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

Top 10 Books of the year.

Well my friends 2020 is finally over. Finally. Shall we all breath a collective sigh of relief. It’s been a tough year hasn’t it? But I always try and look at the positive side of things, and being in a nearly 4 month long lockodown I have managed to read more books than ever before. I had a lot of time on my hands.

Throughout this year I had books. Books that let me discover new worlds while I was stuck inside. Books let m meet new characters while I was stuck inside. They’ve been a gift to me. Of course my reading had dips when I just couldn’t manage to pick up a book.

I’ve read some brilliant books this year. Absolutely brilliant. I’ve loved them. There’s been new found favourites, books that surprised me, books with writing that has moved me. There’s definitely an eclectic selection of books here which I love. There’s some young adult books, queer books, literary fiction.

So shall we talk about these books? Just to clarify they are in no particular order.

1) The Prophets by Robert Jones Jr

I knew I was going to love this book, but I didn’t know I’d love it this much. It’s a masterpiece. It’s genius. It’s the book I’ll recommend to everyone. The writing is stunning beautiful. It’s sublime. I’m already planning on rereading this one next year. It’s truly a work of art. It’s out on January 5th. You can read my full review here.

2) The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta

Everyone was recommending this to me and I’m so glad I read it. It pulled me out of a reading slump and it changed my life. It had me crying through at its sheer beauty and honesty. It’s a Young Adult book but I think it should be required reading for everyone. What a message. I love this book so much.

3) How The One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House by Cherie Jones

This one took me by surprise. I didn’t expect to love it as much as I did. Cherie creates such real characters that stay with you. It’s the book I was talking to all my friends about at work. It had me gripped from start to finish. It’s truly a wonderful piece of fiction. I won’t forget these characters or the book for a long time. What a brilliant debut. I’m on the blog tour for this one, so look out for my review on January 17th.

4) Camp by L. C. Rosen

I adore this book. It’s the book I needed as a teenager, i still needed as a 28 year old. It’s got brilliant representation and it shows you all kinds of queer is valid and worthy and i think that kind of representation is important. Of course its funny, romantic and a brilliant story. You can check out my full review here.

5) Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko

This fantasy book stole my heart. I loved the characters, the story and the African inspired world Jordan has created. It’s so much fun, its got a brilliant message of Black Girl magic and its so captivating. I want more. I’m basically just spending my time waiting for the sequel to come out. You can check out my full review here.

6) The Invisible Life Of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwartz

I’m sure this is going to be on a lot of people’s lists this year and its got a firm place on mine. It’s just a brilliant, moving book that is so original and enthralling. Addie and Henry just take up a place in your heart. And what an original concept. I can’t wait to read more from Schwab as this was my first book from them. You can read my full review here.

7) Girl In The Walls by A. J. Gnuse

This is not my usual type of book but I absolutely loved it. What an original premise. It’s so clever and the author makes it so believable. It had me on the edge of my seat, and my heart was pounding and I just had to know how it would end. Surprisingly emotional also. I really loved this book. It’s out in March and I can’t recommend it enough.

8) Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender

I just think this book is so important. Once again showing how important representation is. Of course its entertaining and you’ll enjoy the characters but this book at its core has something to say. It’s just brilliant. You can check out my full review here.

9) Kingdom Tide by Rye Curtis

Now, I didn’t expect this book to be on the list but as I came to write this blog post I realised I couldn’t stop thinking about this book. Then I realised I’d been thinking about it all year. I remember the brilliant writing and the characters and the powerful connections between. And that to me is a sign of a great book. I read this back in January. You can check out my full review here.

10) Rainbow Milk by Paul Mendez.

I read this early on in the year and just knew it would make it on the list. I loved every page. It has so much to say on queerness and race in the uk. It’s so captivating and beautifully written and I’d love more people to read this one. It’s stunning. I’ll look forward to whatever Paul writes next. You can check out my full review here.

So there we have it. My top 10 books of the year. And what a crazy year its been. But I’m so thankful to these books for letting me escape inside them and keeping me sane.

Have you read any of these? Or do you plan to? Let me know in the comments.

Until the next review

Jthbooks

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

5 Books to read in 2021

With 2020 coming to an end (I know we all can’t wait right?) I figured it’s time to start talking about some books that are coming out next year. You can never be to prepared can you?

I’ve been lucky enough to be sent some proof copies for next year and in today’s blog post I’m going to talk about some of the ones I’ve loved. I will be doing a post about ones I haven’t read yet but I still want you to know about.

So let’s talk about the books shall we?

First up we have The Prophets by Robert Jones jr from Quercus Books and this out on January 5th. This book is probably my most anticipated book of 2021 and I consider myself very lucky to Have an early copy. I can’t tell you how incredible this book is. It’s outstanding. It’s firmly a new favourite of mine. I’m going to have to read it again just to fully take everything in. The writing is absolutely stunning. STUNNING. This available for preorder now and it’s out January 5th. I urge you to pick this one up.

Synopsis: Isaiah was Samuel’s and Samuel was Isaiah’s. That was they way it was since to beginning, and they way it was to be until the end. In the barn they tended to the animals, but also to each other, transforming the hollowed-out shed into a space of human refuge, a source of intimacy and hope in a world ruled by vicious masters. But when an older man – a fellow slave – seeks to gain favour by preaching the masters gospel on the plantation, the enslaved begin to turn on their own. Isaiah and Samuel’s love, which was once so simple, is now seen as sinful and a clear danger to the plantation’s harmony.

The next one is How The One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House by Cherie Jones. This one is out January 21st from Headline Books. I didn’t know what to expect when I picked this one but I absolutely adored it. It is so engrossing. The characters are so beautifully crafted. And the ending is such a page turner. It’s truly a brilliant debut. Its out January 21st.

Synopsis: In Baxter’s Beach, Barbados, Lala’s grandmother Wilma tells the story of the one-armed sister, a cautionary tale about what happens to girls who disobey their mothers. For Wilma, its the story of a wilful adventurer, who ignores the warnings of those around her, and suffers as a result. When Layla grows up, she sees it offers hope – of life after losing a baby in the most terrible of circumstances and marrying the wrong man. And Mira Whalen? It’s about keeping alive, trying to make sense of the fact that her husband has been murdered, and she didn’t get the chance to tell him that she loved him after all.

Open Water by Caleb Azumah Nelson from Viking Books UK out February 4th. This is a short novel but it packs a punch. The writing is absolutely phenomenal. Phenomenal. It’s such an intimate look into the life of a young black man in the UK. It writing like this that makes the book unforgettable. Out February 4th.

Synopsis: Two young people meet at a pub in South East London. Both are Black British, both won scholarships to private schools where they struggled to belong, both now are artists – he a photographer, she a dancer – trying to make their mark in a city that both celebrates and rejects them. Tentatively, tenderly, they fall in love. But two people who seem destined to be together can still be torn apart by fear and violence.

Then we have Girl In The Walls by A. J. Gnuse from 4thestate and it’s out March 4th. This is a book I can’t stop thinking about. It went above and beyond my expectations. And at times I was genuinely scared. It’s got that kind of ending where you’ll be turning those pages as fast as you can. My heart was genuinely pounding. It’s that’s good. Out March 4th.

Synopsis: Elise knows every inch of the house. She knows which boards will creak. She knows where the gaps are in the Walls. She knows which parts can take her in, hide her away. It’s home, after all. The home her parents made for her. And home is where you stay, no matter what. Eddie is a teenager now, almost a grown-up. He must no longer believe in the girl he sometimes sees from the corner of his eye. He needs her to disappear. But when his fierce older brother senses her, too, they are faced with the question of how to get rid of someone they aren’t sure even exists. And, if they cast her out, what other threats might they invite into their home?

Lastly is The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah. I finished this just last night and I loved every page. It’s an epic tale with brilliant characters that really capture your heart. If you loved The Nightingale then you’ll love this one. And yes I can confirm you’ll be weeping at the end. I definitely was.

Synopsis: Texas, 1934. Elsa Martinelli has finally found the life she’d yearned for: a family, a home and a farm on the Great Plains. But when drought threatens all that she and her community hold dear, Elsa’s world is shattered to the winds. One of the darkest periods of the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl era, has arrived with a vengeance. Farmers are fighting to keep their land and their livelihoods as the crops are failing, the water is drying up, and dust threatens to bury them all. Fearful of the future, when Elsa wakes to find her husband has fled, she is forced to make the most agonising decision of her life. Fight for the land she loves or take her beloved children, Lorena and Ant, west to California in search of a better life.

So there you have it, five books that are coming out early next year. And they are all brilliant. I loved every single one, each in there own way. I can’t recommend them enough to you.

Are any of these books on your tbr? Have you been intrigued by any? Comment and let me know.

Until the next review

Jthbooks

author, blog, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, gay, historical fiction, lgbt, queer, review, Uncategorised, ya

Book Review: The Prophets by Robert Jones jr

Title: The Prophets

Author: Robert Jones Jr

Length: 400 pages

Publisher: Quercus Books

Synopsis: Isaiah was Samuel’s and Samuel was Isaiah’s. That was they way it was since to beginning, and they way it was to be until the end. In the barn they tended to the animals, but also to each other, transforming the hollowed-out shed into a space of human refuge, a source of intimacy and hope in a world ruled by vicious masters. But when an older man – a fellow slave – seeks to gain favour by preaching the masters gospel on the plantation, the enslaved begin to turn on their own. Isaiah and Samuel’s love, which was once so simple, is now seen as sinful and a clear danger to the plantation’s harmony.

I’m going to start this review and say that this is probably the best book I’ve ever read. It is simply outstanding. I’m also going to say that this is the hardest review I’ve ever had to write because I know I’ll never do the book justice.

There are so many elements in this book that just hit you in your soul. The writing is so sharp it gets to the core of you. The characterisation is phenomenal. It all just comes together to make a brilliant book.

And let me say this, in literature, we often read about Queer movement or Queer Historical figures but in The Prophets Robert Jones jr has given a voice to Queer Love. In a historical period were queer love has never been considered. Two black slaves choosing each other and love is so powerful to read. I’ve never read Queer Love in this period of history. And by doing this Roberts given queer people of this time a voice.

The romance between Samuel and Isiah is so tender, yet constricted. You can feel the characters, especially Samuel, be afraid to fully give into the relationship because of the ramifications it will have, not only for what will happen to them from their masters point of view, but what would happen if they admit it to themselves. But you also can tell that they need each other, they wouldn’t survive without each other. And somehow Robert conveys all so poignantly and so powerfully. He makes their love feel so deep. It feels like you’re reading about true love, I know that sounds silly to say, but It doesn’t always work in books but in The Prophets it feels real. It’s achingly beautiful. It captures you. It feels so intimate and special, but it feels grand and opening. It’s one of the best love stories I’ve ever read.

There are so brilliant characters in The Prophets, like Maggie, Adam, Sarah and Essie. Here’s what I thought was genius and such a smart, brilliant choice by Robert is that you learn about all these characters through their connection to Samuel and Isiah and their love story. I love how it connected them all. I love how Robert has put Queer love at the centre of the novel. It gives the love such a power. It makes the whole book feel like magic to me. I haven’t felt like this about a book since Girl, Woman, Other. It’s got the same feel to me.

Now of course this book is set in America before the Civil War and its set on a Plantation. So at times it’s hard to read. It’s harrowing and brutal. But Robert handles it with honesty. There’s also some chapters that show White people capturing and enslaving Black people and bringing them over on the ships. They are short chapters but they are so enraging and engrossing. They are incredibly powerful. It just shows what a masterful writer Robert Jones is.

I’m not going to say much about the ending, but all I’ll say is that it broke me. It absolutely broke me. I was crying so loudly my sister came into my room to ask if I was okay. And I’m not even embarrassed about that fact. Robert builds so much momentum and atmosphere. Utter brilliance.

Roberts writing is so breathtaking that he conveys all this without ever really saying it. It is absolutely phenomenal. It’s the kind of book I’ll reread, and I never reread, and I’ll find more meaningful beautiful prose. I can’t tell you how many times I cried because of the honesty and the rawness of the writing, especially about the love between Samuel and Isiah. It’s majestic. All queer love stories will need to live up to this one for me now.

I think it’s pretty obvious that I’d recommend this one. It’s one of the best books I’ve ever read. I think it’ll be award winning. I’m gonna say Booker 2021 now. Please read this book. You won’t regret it. I know I’ll be rereading it.

Thank you so much to Quercus for my copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out January 5th. It’s available for preorder now. I’ve preordered mine and it’s a signed copy and I’m so excited!!

Until the next review

JTH

author, blog, blogtour, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, bookstagram, gay, historical fiction, lgbt, queer, thriller, Uncategorised, ya, young adult

November Wrap Up

Now, I’ve been on lockdown this whole month and I really thought I was going to read more, but of course these lockdowns are hard and my reading took a while to get going.

I really started off the month slowly, just not reading much. I was finding it really hard to concentrate. But when I finally did get going I read some brilliant books. Absolutely brilliant. But I don’t only manage to read seven books. Not great, but not bad. Still I’ve found a new favourite so it was a good month.

Towards the end of the month my reading sort of tapered off again. But hey, that’s lockdown for you.

Let’s talk about these books then shall we?

First up I read The Shape of Darkness by Laura Purcell. This was a good book, not my favourite of the month, but still good. It kept me intrigued throughout. And I’ll definitely be checking out Laura’s other books. It’s out in January.

Next I read These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong and I really enjoyed this one. It took me a little why to get into it, but once I did I loved it. Great characters, a great story. Action packed. You can check out my full review here. Can I have book two now? This one is out now.

Then I read Between The World and Mw by Ta-nehisi Coates. This is a brilliant non-fiction book. I don’t think this is something you review. It’s just something you learn from. It’s a must read.

Up next was The Prophets by Robert Jones jr. Is this my new favourite book? I think so. It’s absolutely outstanding. The writing is phenomenal. Phenomenal. I can’t recommend it enough. This one is out January 5th. Thank you to Quercus books for my copy.

Then I read Love Is A Revolution by Renée Watson. This is a quick YA book that I really enjoyed. It had some fantastic characters, and I loved the message that this book gets across. This one is out in February. Thanks to Bloomsbury YA for my copy.

Next up was Open Water by Caleb Azumah Nelson. This book was short but it really packed a punch. The writing was absolutely stunning. It really was stunning. This one is out in February and I can’t recommend it enough. I look forward to rereading it. Thanks to Viking Books UK for my copy.

Then I read While Paris Slept by Ruth Druart. Loved this one. I love historical fiction and this is an excellent one. Thank you to Headline books for my copy. It’s out in March.

Lastly this month I read The Seven Husband’s of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I absolutely loved this book. Brilliant characters, a brilliant story. I can’t stop thinking about this book.

So that was my reading for the month. Are you interested in any of these? Or have you read any? Let me know.

Until the next review

JTH

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

WWW Wednesday – November 11th

We are in Lockdown here in the UK, and I hate to say it’s been affecting my reading. I just don’t want to pick up a book, but I can slowly feel it coming back so I figured I do a one of these blog posts to keep you all up to date.

What is WWW Wednesday? WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme where all you have to do is answer three simple questions. Look at me using the word meme! I feel so young!

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What have you finished reading recently?
  • What are you planning to read next?

Let’s talk about the books shall we?

What are you currently reading?

Ok so I’m currently reading The Prophets by Robert Jones Jr from Quercus Books. This is one of my most anticipated reads for 2021. I’m not very far in, I think around 60 pages, and it’s pretty incredible so far. I can just tell it’s going to be brilliant. The writing is so good. It’s out in January.

What have you finished reading recently?

I recently finished, just yesterday, Between The World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates and it was absolutely brilliant. After the American election, I saw a video clip of Van Jones speaking so emotionally and eloquently about what it’s like to be a black parent in the US and I just knew I had to read this book. If you’re looking to further understand and educate yourself on Black History and racial inequality this is the book. It’s so moving and powerful. I highly recommend. Everyone should read this book. It’s out now.

What are you reading next?

This is such a hard question. I’m really trying to make my way through my proof books for next year. So it’s definitely going to be one of those, but which one is the choice to make. This is why I don’t set tbr’s because I can never stick to them. But I think it’ll be between these two.

Love is a Revolution by Renée Watson which is out in February

Or

Open Water by Caleb Azumah Nelson which is also out in February.

They both sound incredible. Can someone pick for me?

Until the next review

JTH

#fantasy, #fiction, #literature, blog, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, bookstagram, gay, historical fiction, interview, review, thriller, Uncategorised, ya, young adult

October WrapUp

I know I say this in every monthly wrap up but this month flew by. It really did. Last month I only read six books, so I really wanted to do better and I did.

I managed to read nine books this month. This probably has something to do with the fact that I had a week off work (which was heaven) and I spent a lot of my time reading. I also really enjoyed the books I was reading at the beginning of the month. I couldn’t wait to pick them up.

Right let’s talk about the books shall we?

The first book I finished this month was ‘The Devil and the Dark Water’ by Stuart Turton. Ugh, this was so good. I didn’t expect to love it so much. Suspenseful, immersive. And that ending! I’m still in shock. I was lucky enough to be sent this by Bloomsbury and it’s out now.

The second book for October was All This Time by Mikki Daughtry and Rachael Lippincott. Damn this book was an emotional rollercoaster. But I loved it. And it had the BIGGEST TWIST. I’m still shock now. Thanks to Simon & Schuster for my copy. It’s out now.

Next up was The Private Joys of Nnenna Maloney by Okechukwu Nzelu. I absolutely loved this book. It is so beautifully written. So beautifully written. It’s full of fantastic characters. I don’t think I’ll forget this book for long time. Thanks to Dialogue books for my copy. It’s out now.

For the fourth book this month I read Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender. I’ve had this on my tbr forever and it didn’t disappoint. I adore this book with all of my being. Why did I wait to long? So powerful and moving.

Then I read Trio by William Boyd. This was my first William Boyd book and I really enjoyed it. I was full of great characters, and I was really intrigued to see how it ended and where the characters would end up. Thanks to Viking Books for the copy. It’s out now.

Next I read The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab. Of course I had to read this and of course I loved it. Beautifully written. So emotional. So romantic. I loved it.

Then I decided to read Here The Whole Time by Vitor Martins. I really loved this book. I loved the sweet queer love story and I loved the self acceptance and different representation. We need more books like this one. It’s out January 21st.

Next up I read How The One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House by Cherie Jones. This is one of my favourite reads of the year. I loved every page. It’s just brilliant. Thanks to Tinder Press for my copy. It’s out in January.

Lastly I read The Shape of Darkness by Laura Purcell. This was my first book by this author and I enjoyed it. I did take me a long time to read. It definitely kept me intrigued. This one is out in January. Thanks to Bloomsbury for the copy.

And that’s it. That was all the books. Have you read any? Or are any on your tbr?

Also, Lockdown has just been announced here in the uk, which means I now have a month of work as I work in hospitality, so I think they’ll be a lot of books read in the next month.

Until the next review

JTH

#fantasy, adult fantasy, author, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, gay, queer, review, Uncategorised, ya, young adult

Book Review: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E.Schwab

Title: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

Author: V.E Schwab

Length: 541 pages

Publisher: Titan Books

Synopsis: France, 1714. A desperate woman makes a desperate deal in the dark – a bargain to live forever but be remembered by none. So begins the invisible life of Addie LaRue, shadow muse to artists throughout history, forgotten friend, confidante and lover, slipping away in the morning light. Addie passes through lives, desperate only to leave a trace of herself. Until the day she walks back into a small bookshop in Manhattan and meets Henry, who remembers her. After 300 years Addie’s life is restarting, but the devil never plays fair. As Henry and Addie’s lives start to intertwine, they must face the consequences of the decisions they’ve made and the prices to be paid.

Yes, I jumped on the hype train and preordered this book. And let me tell you I’m a very happy passenger (get it? Because I’m on the hype train!) because I absolutely love this book.

This is my first V.E.Schwab book (yes I know, it’s bad but the A Darker Shade of Magic series is on my tbr don’t worry) but I was surprised at how much I loved V.E Schwabs writing. It was absolutely beautiful. It was really comforting in a way, yet there were these really profound moments that I absolutely loved. It was beautiful I had to have a little cry. Pretty early on in the book. The whole book is written beautifully. It’s emotional, atmospheric and romantic.

It was such an immersive plot. It was the kind of book that I didn’t want to put down. In fact I didn’t put it down. It’s a dual plot timeline which is handled so beautifully by Schwab. I just absolutely loved how detailed it was. There were so many things in the plot that I wouldn’t have thought of (that’s why I’m not an author). There was also twists and turns that I didn’t see coming. It really surprised me and it gave the story some real excitement. And then there was another twist, that I feel like some people might have seen coming, but I obviously didn’t. This is very vague I know, but I refuse to ruin these surprises for you. The second twist also broke my heart.

Let’s talk about the ending shall we? Yes it broke my heart. I’d seen some people say that the ending disappointed them a bit, but I absolutely loved it. It really made me cry. I was just sitting in bed crying at 8pm on Wednesday. I had to stop reading and just sit and take it all in. You know it’s a good book when this happens. It was just so emotional. So emotional. And I’ll tell you why it’s emotional.

It’s because you absolutely fall in love with Addie. You really do. You see her in Paris in the 1700s just as she’s made the deal with the God coming to terms with everyone, and you see in her in 2014 as she’s living in New York and is fully adept to her situation. She’s just so strong and vulnerable. She’s funny. Honestly, you’ll just love her. But Addie isn’t the only great character, there’s also Luc. Even though he’s the ‘bad guy’ he definitely adds something to the book. And of course there’s Henry. My Henry. I felt for him, I loved him. There’s a sadness and loneliness to him that I adored.

The romance is so beautiful. It really is. It just filled my heart with so much joy. It’s also what makes the ending even more heartbreaking (but it definitely finishes strong). I just wanted Addie and Henry to live happily together forever. Is that too much to ask? There’s also a kind of but not really love triangle. You really believe the connection Schwab has crafted between them all. It definitely didn’t make me mad. And it also made the ending so powerful. You’ll know what I mean if you’ve read it.

Incase you couldn’t tell I loved this book. It’ll be in my top ten for the year. I can’t recommend it to you enough. Now If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to reread this book.

Until the next review

JTH

#fiction, #literature, author, blog, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, historical fiction, lgbt, queer, review, Uncategorised, ya

Book Review: Trio by William Boyd

Title: Trio

Author: William Boyd

Length: 341 pages

Publisher: Viking Books UK

Synopsis: It is summer in 1968, the year of the assassination of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy. There are riots in Paris and the Vietnam War is out of control. While the world is reeling out three characters are involved in making a Swingin’ Sixties movie in sunny Brighton. All are leading secret lives. Elfrida is drowning her writer’s block in vodka; Talbot, coping with the daily dysfunction of making a film, is hiding something in a secret apartment; and the glamorous Anny is wondering why the CIA is suddenly so interested in her. But the show must go on and, as it does, the trio’s private worlds begin to take over their public ones. Pressures build inexorably- someone’s going to crack. Or maybe they will.

I’m a little embarrassed to admit but this is my first ever William Boyd book, but I can definitely tell you it won’t be my last. And at least now I have a big back catalogue to get through.

In Trio we follow three character perspectives, Talbot, Elfrida, and Anny. I can honestly say I really enjoyed each perspective (it’s not often that happens is it). I also really enjoyed how they were all connected. It made the novel really interesting.

I really liked all three of the main characters, if I had to pick a favourite I would probably have to say Elfrida. I don’t know why she’s just the one I felt for the most. I so wanted her to write her Virginia Wolfe book and for it be a success. But I loved Anny and Talbot too. Anny’s story was definitely the most plot driven and I was willing her to make good decisions. And Talbots was really interesting. I think William manages to capture that moment in time where homosexuality has just become legal but attitudes, and internal attitudes haven’t caught up. It was really quiet powerful. I think the characterisation was one of the best things about this book. They were all complicated and real.

I loved the setting too. One, I don’t live very far away from Brighton so that was cool. But I also loved the movie set. It was really interesting and detailed. It just had that old glamour feel to it. The plot was also so intriguing. I wanted to see what would happen. I wanted to see where the characters would end up.

Now let’s talk about it that ending shall we? I can honestly say I didn’t expect it to end like it did, especially Elfrida’s. I was so shocked. I never saw it coming. It also made me sad. In so many ways. But I’m not going to say anymore, as I don’t want to spoil it for you. But you’ll know what I mean when you read.

I can’t recommend this book enough. I as was reading it, I just knew I was throughly enjoying it and it made me not want to put it down. I read it in just over a day. Now I’m off to buy some more William Boyd books.

Thank you so much to Alexia at Viking Books for gifting me with a copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out now!

Until the next review

JTH

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Book Review: The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton

Title: The Devil and the Dark Water

Author: Stuart Turton

Length: 548 pages

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Synopsis: It’s 1634 and Samuel Pipps, the world’s greatest detective, is being transported from the Dutch East Indies to Amsterdam, where he is facing trail and execution for a crime he may, or may not, have committed. Travelling with him is his loyal bodyguard, Arent Hayes, who is determined to prove his friend innocent, while also on board are Sara Wessel, a noble woman with a secret, and her husband, the general governor of Batavia. But no sooner than their ship is out to see than devilry begins to blight the voyage. A strange symbol appears on the sail. A dead Leper stalks the deck. Livestock are slaughtered in the night. And then the passengers hear a terrible voice whispering to them in the darkness, promising them three unholy miracles. First: an impossible pursuit. Second: an impossible theft. Third: an impossible murder. Could a demon be responsible for their misfortunes. With Pipps imprisoned, only Arent and Sara can solve a mystery that stretches back into their past and now threatens to sink the ship, killing everybody on board.

Okay, I’m writing this review right after I finished The Devil and the Dark Water and all I can think about is that ending!!! But we’ll talk about that more later. The more I think about this book, the more I love it. It’s was sooooo good.

Just a little warning this review might seem vague but I really don’t want to give anything about the plot away. I want you to be swept away like I was.

We mainly follow Arent, as he has to solve the mystery that’s happening Saardam while his crime solving partner, who usually solves the crimes, Sammy is imprisoned. Is there a devil aboard called Old Tom?

The plot of The Devil and the Dark Water was pretty incredible. It’s a very detailed and intricate storyline, I definitely had to concentrate. But trust me you’ll want to concentrate. I usually try and guess what was going on, but I couldn’t. I had no idea. It really kept me guessing throughout. It was full of twists and turns, cliffhangers, murder, mystery. Ugh, it was just so damn good.

This book is full of characters. And I have to say at the beginning there’s a lot of names and I did get a tiny bit confused. But like I said, we mainly follow Arent. He’s a great character. He really is. I loved his friendship with Sammy and that’s all I say on that!!! I also loved Sara and Lia. Both fantastic characters. It’s great to read strong female characters. There’s many more you’ll meet when you read this book.

It did take me a while to read this book, but I think it’s because I was enjoying it and didn’t want it to end. Stuart has created such an immersive world. As I read the book I just forgot about everything else. It also has real momentum. It’s a slow build that buy the time you reach the end there’s so much anticipation that I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. Now shall we talk about the ending?

The ending! I was so shocked! I still can’t believe it. So I’m obviously going to talk about this without giving anything away but the mystery of this book was revealed and I was shocked, but I thought it was a clever twist and I was satisfied. And then there was ANOTHER twist that I didn’t see coming and it shocked me to my core. I had to put the book down for a minute to comprehend what I’d just read.

Also, the ending sort of broke my heart in a way. If you’ve read it you’ll know what I mean.

I really recommend this book. It was brilliant. It’s exciting, immersive and so enjoyable. Please give this one a read. You won’t regret it.

Thank you to Laura at Bloomsbury for gifting me with a copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out now.

Until the next review

JTH