Book Review: Lily and the Octopus by Steven Rowley

This is an odd one to try to explain to people.

 Lily and the Octopus is about Ted, who talks to his dachshund, Lily, and thinks he can hear her talking back. It’s unclear whether he genuinely believes she is talking to him, or if it’s just how he copes. At the beginning of the book, Ted notices a tumour on Lily’s head, although he doesn’t name it, instead seeing it as an octopus, which shortly also begins talking to him.

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Book Review: ‘Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine’ by Gale Honeyman.

I should tell you now, this is not a balanced review.

Only the other week, I was telling you I hadn’t found a new favourite book in a whole year and that I hoped 2018 would bring something wonderful. Here we are, not even a month in and I’ve met Eleanor Oliphant, a stoically sensible, socially inept woman disrupting her careful routine and embracing new experiences for the first time in ten years.

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It was published back in May (on my birthday – is it fate?) yet it still feels very new and is everywhere in the media, due to recently winning the Costa First Novel Award. The novel already feels timeless so I’m sure there are many more awards to come.

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Book Review: ‘The Hate U Give’ by Angie Thomas.

thugThe Hate U Give is about a black teenager called Starr whose best friend is shot by a white police officer for no reason. Starr lives in a mostly black neighbourhood rife with gang violence and goes to school in a predominantly white, wealthy environment. Her two worlds, which she so painstakingly tries to keep separate, crash together when Khalil’s murder becomes national news and Starr must come to terms with losing longterm friends, both to armed police and to the underlying racist thoughts of the people she once trusted. She must learn to be at peace with her own identity which she has hidden from everyone for so long.

This is a hyped-up YA novel and we all know how disappointing hyped YA novels can be. The Hate U Give delivers: it is passionate, realistic and important. I’ve just heard that it’s going to be turned into a movie, and if they do it justice I think it could be a really great thing. (Rue from The Hunger Games is playing Starr – I bloody love that.)

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Book Review: The Boy on the Bridge by M. R. Carey.

How excited was I for this book?

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 I read Carey’s The Girl With All the Gifts last year and thought it was one of the best thrillers I’d read for a long time. I rarely read horror, especially zombie novels, but it was one of my favourite books of 2016. Needless to say, when I heard Carey was writing another book in that universe, I preordered it immediately.

(I preordered the ebook, which some people might think is a bit stupid, but I bloody love ebooks.)

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Book Review: ‘The Noughtie Girl’s Guide to Feminism’ by Ellie Levenson.

Levenson’s book can be summed up in three words: simple, opinionated, choice. She discusses lots of areas in which gender discrimination is still a problem in modern society, but the be-all and end-all of her argument is this: women can do whatever they like, provided it’s their own choice.

 In that respect, I agree. No woman should be forced into doing anything or being anything against her will. If she wants to work and never get married, that’s her business and no one else’s. If she wants to stay at home and look after the kids, that’s also completely up to her. If she wants to be somewhere between the two, I’m not going to argue with her, and neither should anyone else.

However, Levenson contradicts herself. She waxes lyrical about how important it is for women to make their own choices, and how no one should judge them for it. But she slates women who wear white wedding gowns and want their boyfriends to ask their father’s permission before proposing:

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Book Review: ‘Life in a Fishbowl’ by Len Vlahos.

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affects my opinion of the book. Quotes below may differ in the final published version of the book.

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Life in a Fishbowl is the story of Jackie, a young girl who adores her father and is devastated when she hears that he has a brain tumour and only has a few months to live.

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Book Review: ‘Labyrinth: One Classic Film, Fifty-Five Sonnets’ by A Corrigan.

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affects my opinion of the book. Quotes below may differ in the final published version of the book.

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I love me a bit of Labyrinth, so when I saw this book was available for immediate download, obviously I had to give it a go.

The book follows the story of the Jim Henson film, with each ‘chapter’ in the form of a sonnet (14 lines with an ABAB rhyme scheme, including a rhyming couplet at the end). If you’ve read a lot of traditional poetry, this may be a bit unsophisticated for you, but if it’s your first foray into poetry you might find it a fun read.

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