Monday, 11 January 2021

Reading Round Up 2021 #2

 Hello lovely readers.

Welcome to another weekly reading round up. I hope you're all coping in this ongoing lockdown. Reading has definitely been my saviour. Only being able to go out for one walk a day, I'm not sure what else I'd be doing if I wasn't such a book worm.

Having read a book almost every day of the week last week, I have already read 9 books so far this month. I think it is safe to say that I'm going to reach my Goodreads (give me a follow if you like) target of 100 books read this year.



I've tried to mix it up a little with my reading. Alternating between my Kindle and my phone as well as switching from proofs/ARCS I have been lucky enough to receive, my own personal book collection and novels sent via Netgalley.

I'm sure you haven't clicked on this link to read me waffling on, so lets get on with the books I've read recently:

Heartstopper volume II by Alice Oseman 5 out of 5 stars

Nick and Charlie are best friends. Nick knows Charlie's gay, and Charlie is sure that Nick isn't.

But love works in surprising ways, and Nick is discovering all kinds of things about his friends, his family ... and himself.

                                                                                                                                                                           

Done in a comic book strip style, I just adore this series and I'm hoping to get volume 3 for my birthday at the end if the month - hint to the husband if he's reading.

It is one of those books that literally has you saying aaaaaa out loud.


My Brother by Karin Smirnoff 4 out of 5 stars

A publishing phenomenon from Sweden: a novel about uncovering family secrets, abuse, trauma and resilience.

Jana is returning to see her twin brother Bror, still living in the small family farmhouse in the rural north of Sweden. It's decrepit and crumbling, and Bror is determinedly drinking himself to an early grave. They're both damaged by horrific childhood experiences, buried deep in the past, but Jana cannot keep running.

Alive with the brutality and beauty of the landscape, MY BROTHER is a novel steeped in darkness and violence - about abuse, love, complicity, and coming to terms with the past. It's the story of a homecoming without a home: a story of forgiveness. 

                                                                                                                                                                          

Part of a trilogy, from the moment the story begins, there is an eerie vibe to the story. Much like the front cover, you get the sense that there is more than meets the eye when it comes to certain characters and their reasonings behind their own bizarre behaviours.

With themes of violence, abuse and alcoholism, I won't sugar coat the fact that this is quite a dark and gruesome read at times. Things were described in detail and I'll admit to almost shaking as I read certain chapters as I wondered where it would all lead.

It was brutal but I couldn't stop reading.

My Brother ends on a cliffhanger so I really hope the other two books will be made available in English as I really need to know what comes next.


The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley 4 out of 5 stars

Julian Jessop is tired of hiding the deep loneliness he feels. So he begins The Authenticity Project – a small green notebook containing the truth about his life.

Leaving the notebook on a table in his friendly neighbourhood cafĂ©, Julian never expects Monica, the owner, to track him down after finding it. Or that she’ll be inspired to write down her own story.

Little do they realize that such small acts of honesty hold the power to impact all those who discover the notebook and change their lives completely.

                                                                                                                                                                           

I felt love and happiness as I read.

Packed full of wit, this is a book that teaches us to actually live in the moment, don't fall victim to living a lie that we tell to ourselves or others to make us feel better about current situations because in the end it won't make life truly worth living.

Charming, candid, narrative told from a variety of people makes this book rather special.

Although fiction, it felt honest and warmed my heart.


The Boy I Am by K L Kettle 5 out of 5 stars

Jude is running out of time. Once a year, lucky young men in the House of Boys are auctioned to the female elite. But if Jude fails to be selected before he turns seventeen, a future deep underground in the mines awaits.

Yet ever since the death of his best friend at the hands of the all-powerful Chancellor, Jude has been desperate to escape the path set out for him. Finding himself entangled in a plot to assassinate the Chancellor, he finally has a chance to avenge his friend and win his freedom. But at what price?

                                                                                                                                                                           

I was in awe of this story.

Unexpectedly eye-opening.

This is the type of story where I don't want to say too much as I fear it would ruin the delivery of that first time reading it.

Powerful, poignant, perfection.

That is how I'd describe The Boy I Am.

A world where women are in charge, where boys grow up as I guess slaves, under the watch of those women who hold all the cards. But does that make it a better place to live? Are they better off or are things no better than if men were to rule?

Feelings of strength and desire were the undercurrent of this tale and I felt them in my bones with every turn of the page.


Release by Aly Martinez 4 out of 5 stars

Growing up, Ramsey Stewart branded my soul in ways time could never heal.

At twelve, he asked me to be his girlfriend.

At thirteen, he gave me my first kiss.

By sixteen, we’d fallen in love, planned a future together, and had our eyes set on the horizon.

Love never fails, right?

But for Ramsey, it did.

Love failed him.

I failed him.

The entire world failed him.

                                                                                                                                                                          

I'll be honest, I wasn't expecting a lot from it but I was pleasantly surprised.

A story filled with love, lust and desire. Friendship that can withhold the test of time (literally). Guess you could say that Ramsey and Thea were destined to be together.

This book was perfect escapism. It offered relationships, drama and above all else, a happy ending. Which sometimes is really needed.


I'm now currently reading The Silent Patient, I've seen so many good reviews for this novel that I just had to jump on the bandwagon and read it. Have you read it, what did you think it?

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