Book review: The Half Sister by Sandie Jones

Wednesday, June 24, 2020 Permalink

I’ve read a few twisty books lately and The Half Sister by Sandie Jones is yet another. It’s probably a little (well, very) deceiving as several times I thought I knew what was happening. In fact, I often felt a sense of frustration as it felt far too obvious and predictable.

But of course I was wrong on those occasions and Jones takes readers in another direction entirely.

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four-stars

Male or female lead characters. Do you care?

Monday, June 22, 2020 Permalink

I just reviewed a book in which I commented that I’d assumed the lead character—in whose head we’d been placed—was female. Their name was non-specific and so when they were addressed by their full name I was astounded. “Oh, I’m a boy!” I thought in a completely guileless way.

But it gave me pause. I pondered. Why did I assume ‘Jamie’ was female? Because the author was female? Because I’m female? Because I read so many books featuring a female protagonist?

I wasn’t sure.

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Book review: The Other Passenger by Louise Candlish

Monday, June 22, 2020 Permalink

The Other Passenger by Louise Candlish is the type of book that throws in an extra twist, just as you think you have things worked out.

In many ways it felt as if the narrative was ‘finished’ a number of times before it was. I kept looking at how many more pages remained wondering how on earth Candlish would eke the book out further. But… it’s because she takes the story in several directions we don’t expect… though wonder later how we didn’t predict their occurrence.

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four-stars

Book review: All of Us by AF Carter

Wednesday, June 10, 2020 Permalink

All of Us by AF Carter reminded me why I studied psychology as an undergraduate. It reminded me of my fascination with the human mind, with sanity and insanity (as opposed to mental illness!). Not to mention my early interest in multiple personality disorder (ie. dissociative identity disorder). I blame reading / watching Sybil (the book by Flora Rheta Schreiber, film featuring Sally Field) in my teens.

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three-half-stars

Book review: The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner

Tuesday, June 9, 2020 Permalink

It’s no secret I’m a fan of Jane Austen. In fact, it’s almost exactly 11 years ago since I finally binge-read all of her work. I’d been away (at fat camp – long story) and took The Complete Works of Jane Austen with me. Devouring the tome easily.

It surprised me because though I’d loved the BBC miniseries of Pride & Prejudice and the Gwyneth Paltrow/Toni Collette movie version of Emma (my interest was predominantly piqued by Colin Firth and Jeremy Northam respectively), I’d not even considered reading her books. And I hate(d) historical fiction.

It was only then I understood the eloquent and witty genius of the woman (so) ahead of her time.

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three-stars

Filtering out negativity. No rain, no rainbows. No good without the bad.

Monday, June 8, 2020 Permalink

Last week I wrote about the overwhelm I was experiencing. I commented on the guilt I felt for being so exhausted when I was in such a position of privilege. Even saying “I want the world to pause so I can get off for a bit,” reeks of middle-aged white-personism.

A lot of messaging suggests we avoid social media, news or negativity… to preserve our own mental health. Our sanity.

It’s been a big year (or three). A lot of bad shit has gone down, some preventable. Some not.

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Book review: The Spill by Imbi Neeme

Sunday, June 7, 2020 Permalink

The blurb of The Spill by Imbi Neeme talks about the relationship between two sisters who remember their childhoods quite differently.

I was intrigued by that as I often have very specific memories of events from my childhood or teenage years which my mother debunks. They feel real or true to me and yet mum is like… “That didn’t happen.” It’s weird, to misremember things. I ponder how those memories were planted in my head. Were they things I wanted or thought at the time, or have they replaced the real events with the advantage of hindsight or wistfulness years later.

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three-half-stars

Book review: The Broken Ones by Ren Richards

Sunday, June 7, 2020 Permalink

I enjoyed The Broken Ones by Ren Richards, best known for her YA and middle-grade books (writing as Lauren DeStefano). I wasn’t quite sure what to expect but Richards blends two mysteries into this novel seamlessly, giving both equal levels of intrigue.

I really liked some of the relationships on offer as well, particularly the bond between sisters and the extent to which we go to protect and preserve ‘family’.

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three-half-stars