2017/06/23

2017/06/21

BOOK REVIEW:
SOMETIMES A RIVER SONG BY AVRIL JOY

Title: Sometimes A River Song
Author: Avril Joy
Published: 2016
Language: English
Pages: 194
Rating: 5/5

A copy of this book was sent to me by the publisher. This does not influence my review.


Summary:
Set in the 1930's in a riverboat community in Arkansas, this is the story of fifteen year old Aiyana who dreams of learning to read, which will offer her a life away from the cruelty of her father, a life away from the river she loves.


Review:
This book is really something, and quite different from anything else I can remember reading.

It's a short novel, but there's so much in here nonetheless, and I can't think of anything I don't love about it. The setting of the riverboat community is fantastic and ambient, the characters are fascinating and realistic and I really enjoyed the prevailing themes of nature, as well as the underlying air of folklore and legend.

My favorite part is the voice of the main character; right away, it swoops you into this world of the river, a world veiled with mythology; a world filled with an atmosphere you can almost touch. Getting to know Aiyana and the inside of her head is both painful and beautiful, as is seeing her grow up.

This is a poetic, engrossing and vivid coming of age story, one I would highly recommend to anyone who enjoys historical fiction and literary fiction. It's a books I think will stay with me for a long time.
You can get this book at The Book Depository*
You can read more about it on Goodreads
*AFFILIATE LINK
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2017/06/20

BOOKSTAGRAM SPOTLIGHT: @ANINFINITEBOOK

It's time for another bookstagram spotlight and this time I want to show you some awesome stuff from @aninfinitebook! Her feed is filled with flowers, great light and of course; loads of awesome books.




Go follow!
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2017/06/17

BOOK REVIEW:
STRANGE HEART BEATING BY ELI GOLDSTONE

Title: Strange Heart Beating
Author: Eli Goldstone
Published: 2017
Language: English
Pages: 208
Rating: 3/5


Summary:
This is the story of a man who goes in search of his wife's past after she has been killed by a swan.


Review:
What an interesting reading experience this was!

I adore the writing style in this and it's my favorite part of this book. It's dark and funny, lyrical but not overly so and I felt it captured the atmosphere wonderfully. The story explores grief and the unknowability of people very well and it generally has an ambience I really enjoy.

I think the concept of reimagining the myth of Leda and the swan is fantastic, but I felt the story lost its way a little bit somewhere in the middle. The first part is truly rather amazing and then it sadly just dwindles and unfortunately, I started to feel a bit out of touch with the characters.

Overall, I'd say this is a promising debut and worth reading if you like your books on the odd side. I'm intrigued to see what Goldstone writes next and will definitely be keeping an eye on her in the future. The potential is massive.
You can get this book at The Book Depository*
You can read more about it on Goodreads

*AFFILIATE LINK
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2017/06/16

2017/06/14

CAN YOU CRACK THE CODE?

As you might be aware, The Unseen World by Liz Moore is one of my favorite reads of the year so far, so when the author reached out to me and told me she'd made a puzzle for us, I of course wanted to share it with all of you!

You'll get all the information you need by watching both mine and Liz's video, but basically, this puzzle is to celebrate the new paperback edition of the book coming out, and if you manage to crack the code, you can win a prize!

 
 
The competition is open internationally and all you need is to get your hands on the new paperback (you can get it here*). You have until the 15th of July to figure it out, so best of luck!
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2017/06/13

THINGS I LIKE NO. 2

So, you may have seen these in my Spring Favorites video because I have been loving them! I've been a bit obsessed with face masks lately and these Flower Fusion sheet masks from Origins are some of the best I've tried, they really help keep the dryness of my face in check. My absolute favorite one is the Rose mask, but I also like the Violet and the Raspberry.


I also have to say, I think I prefer sheet masks over regular facemasks, because they're so easy to use. You literally just have to unpack it, spend five seconds putting it on, leave it for 20 minutes and spend 1.4 seconds taking it off. And voilá, you're done!
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2017/06/12

BOOK REVIEW:
THE BEES BY CAROL ANN DUFFY

Title: The Bees
Author: Carol Ann Duffy
Published: 2011
Language: English
Pages: 84
Rating: 3/5


Summary:
This collection shows Duffys full poetic range with the theme of bees being the presiding spirit throughout the book.


Review:
I quite enjoyed this collection, but it's a bit of a mixed experience for me; I adored some of the poetry while some of it didn't resonate with me at all.

I really enjoyed how poetry of the bees occur every so often throughout the collection and binds it all together. I think Duffy has a distinct voice and generally writes beautifully, although at times it's a bit too over the top for my personal taste, and while I understand the idea to include poetry about everything, it feels a bit all over the place.

One of the poems that stood out to me was titled Spell;

Yes, I think a poem is a spell of kinds
that keeps things living in a written line
whatever's lost or leaving - lock of rhyme -
and so I write and write and write your name
p. 56

Overall, I think it's a good collection worth reading if you like poetry, and if you're planning on reading it I would highly advise reading the poetry out loud (it brings it to a completely different level).
You can get this book at The Book Depository*
You can read more about it on Goodreads
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2017/06/11

2017/06/10

UNBOXING:
MOTH BOX #5

The May Moth Box arrived a while ago and I thought it was time to show you what was inside! As with last month, I did an unboxing on Instagram as well when I got it. Moth Box is now on there too, as well as on Twitter, as I'm sure you know.

Anyways, to the books!









Very excited to read these and see what they're like! I really do love this book box, there's always books in here that weren't even on my radar, which is fantastic!
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2017/06/09

2017/06/07

BOOK REVIEW:
NICHOLAS AND ALEXANDRA BY ROBERT K. MASSIE

Title: Nicholas and Alexandra: The Last Tsar and His Family
Author: Robert K. Massie
Published: 1967
Language: English
Pages: 613
Rating: 4/5


Summary:
This is the story of the last Romanovs, their lives, the people and experiences that touched their lives and how they, in turn, affected the world.


Review:
Having previously read two biographies from this author (Catherine the Great and Peter the Great), I was pretty sure I was going to enjoy this. And I did!

Massie is a master storyteller and he manages to create worlds and bring you back in time effortlessly. He brings us into this world of not only Russian royalty, but of their struggles, their joys, their minds and emotions. And the best part about it is that it's all true.

The only thing keeping me from giving this a full star rating is there were a few chapters on military movements and the like, which I found a bit dry - this has more to do with me and my lack of interest in the topic than anything to do with the writing though.

This is a romantic, tragic and heart wrenching story of Russia and the last family born to rule it told in the best way possible; I really don't know how this could've been done any better. I would highly, highly recommend it.
You can get this book at The Book Depository*
You can read more about it on Goodreads
*AFFILIATE LINK
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2017/06/06

2017/06/03

BOOK REVIEW:
STAY WITH ME BY AYÒBÁMI ADÉBÁYÒ

Title: Stay With Me
Author: Ayòbámi Adébáyò
Published: 2017
Language: English
Pages: 304
Rating: 4/5


Summary:
Set in Nigeria, this is about a woman, Yejide, and her husband who struggle to conceive a child, and when the husband, under the influence of his family, acquires a second wife, their life and love starts to unravel and disintegrate.


Review:
This was a phenomenal read and one I sped through very quickly.

This book is not particularly lyrical, but the writing style works so well with this kind of story. It's a plot-heavy novel and so much happens, but what's so great about it is that the characters don't suffer for it; they're still fully fleshed-out and believable. They're truly in the story, and you get to know them, not by the author describing them to you, but by how they react to what happens to them. 

It deals with a lot of important and interwoven themes; love and how far you can stretch it before it breaks, marriage and the expectations and pressures it brings, and womanhood, parenthood and grief. All of them are handled well in their complexity. There's also unrest in the political background of the novel, which adds another important element.

This is the authors debut novel, which makes this all the more impressive. I would highly recommend it and I cannot wait to read whatever Adébáyò comes out with next. 
You can get this book at The Book Depository*
You can read more about it on Goodreads
*AFFILIATE LINK
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