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Sincerely, Harriet Review (eARC)

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Taken from Google

Thank you to NetGalley for sending me an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

This graphic novel tells the story of a girl with chronic illness (MS) and how she deals with it. Through boredom and loneliness, she leans on making up stories about those she comes into contact with, which initially makes her an unlikeable character. However, as the story progresses, we see more about what she’s experiencing, and we sympathise with her. An example would be how difficult she finds it to make friends, despite relentless attempts.

The sweet relationship Harriet shares with Pearl, a middle-aged woman who lives downstairs, was so fun to read about and it was really interesting to see what stories she picked out for Harriet to read, and her persistence in doing so in spite of Harriet’s resistance.

The representation of minorities in this graphic novel was so seamless, and didn’t at all seem like it was just included for the sake of including it. I felt the hardships of adolescence were sensitively explored, and the importance of kindness clearly displayed.

I have never read anything by Sarah Winifred Searle before now but, from what I’ve read, I’d definitely recommend her to anyone who would like something different to read. As someone who has only read the Tintin graphic novels, I can’t say I’m huge on them. However, Sincerely, Harriet may have opened a door.

85%

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BOOK EVENT TOMORROW!

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Tomorrow (26/09/2018) my first book event will be taking place at the Central Library in Aberdeen, Scotland. I cannot wait. Like, literally, I feel like I am a kid on Christmas Eve: I have been checking the clock just about every five minutes. Despite the unbelievable excitement, I am also really nervous.

If you are able to make it please consider coming along. The event will be filmed (well, I will be filmed with the chairwoman) so, if I can, I will be uploading the video. I say, ‘If I can’ because I am a fool when it comes to computers. I know the very basic things. Anyway, the event booking details are in the picture above! If you can, please come along!

I realise this is becoming a sound-bite as I say it all the time, but thank you all so much for the continuing support and kindness you are giving me. I couldn’t have done any of this without you all. It means more than I can describe to know that Miscellany is in the hands of readers across the world. Knowing people are spending their hard-earned money on my book is mind-boggling and humbling. Thank you all so much.

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The Big Four Review

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The Big Four was published on January 27, 1927. Written by Agatha Christie, I went into it expecting to love it: I adore the Poirot novels, and the Miss Marple novels. However, that is not what happened.

I want to make  it perfectly clear that I really wanted to like this book. It was the only Agatha Christie novel I hadn’t read. It was, of course, superbly written, the characters are brilliant. What brought it down was the plot. It wasn’t exactly a murder mystery, which is what I go to Agatha Christie for. It leaned more towards Espionage/Adventure.

Growing up, I insisted that every novel penned by the Queen of Crime was amazing. I’m not saying that this book isn’t good. But, ‘good’ is as far as I will go – and I will say ‘good’ with a tone betraying generosity.

The Big Four is a major terrorist organisation comprising of four major people from different cultures, and what appeared to be thousands of henchmen. That is not what the majority of people will expect when they read a Poirot mystery. They are cosy mysteries, and played a massive role in showing me I loved reading, wanted to write.

This book, though, was, in a word, weird. It felt like a mish-mash of stories. Having researched Agatha Christie for years, I know she wrote several short stories magazines didn’t want, and so she threw them into this book. The result was a disjointed, and frankly confusing, book.

Poirot wore a disguise in this book while fighting terrorists. It genuinely came across as an attempt at a superhero novel. I absolutely love Agatha Christie’s books, but this is not one I will be reading again anytime soon.

Due to the characters, and the writing, I gave this book three stars. Again, this was generous. More like 2.5 stars.

Rating: 50%

Amazon UK

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Simon VS The Homo-Sapiens Agenda Review

Simon
Simon VS The Homo-Sapiens Agenda

The Goodreads description of this book is: Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

I want to start this by saying Becky Albertalli’s novel isn’t the sort I would normally read.  In fact, it was a book I actively didn’t read. Not through anything other than romance is not exactly my genre. But, I saw the film with my friend and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was very cute – and I do not use that word very often, but it’s the only word I can think of to sum up what I thought of the film.

Of course, I enjoyed the book much more than the film. The writing was exceptional, and easy to read. Becky Albertalli’s writing style is one I haven’t come across before. I can’t describe it exactly, but it was so refreshing!

I liked every character – obviously apart from Martin Addison, who I don’t actually hate either –  especially Leah. Her character seemed to be so full of surprises. I won’t give any away, but I will definitely be reading Leah On The Offbeat.

I loved the constant references to Oreos – which, can I say, are definitely part of a balanced diet. If you haven’t read the book, you won’t know what I’m talking about. But, I cannot help but think of Oreos every time I see Simon on my shelf.  One thing I didn’t like think was realistic about this book was that Blue didn’t realise the importance of the biscuit. That is a joke, and not a very good one.

I was in a particularly disgusting reading slump for the majority of this year, and this book brought me out of it. So, THANK YOU Becky Albertalli.

I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone who just wants to read a book that’ll make them remember why they love reading. I don’t often read contemporary books. Now, I think that’ll change.

Definitely give this book a read!

Rating: 99% (I’ll never give a book 100%)

Amazon UK
Amazon US

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Thank You

 

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Miscellany at #3

As many of you know, my book, Miscellany, came out on Kindle across the world last Saturday.

I cannot describe the feelings I have experienced this last week. I am forever changed, and forever grateful for this journey I am on.

I have received dozens of wonderful, kind, loving, heart-warming messages since Miscellany was released. I am humbled by the fact that people have taken the time out of their days to message me to tell me how excited they are for my book, how happy they are for me, and how I have somehow helped them. I cannot put into words how grateful I am for every message, for every kind word I have received.

The day following Miscellany’s release, it hit the Top 50 in its category. Before I went to church, it was at #49. When I left church, my book had risen to #3. I have never been so thankful.

No author can hit a bestseller list without people spending their hard-earned money on their book. No author gets to a bestseller list on their own. Other people put them there.

To everyone who has helped me realise my dreams, who have put me on a bestseller list at the age of 19: THANK YOU!

Thank you seems so inadequate. You are the people who kept me in the Top 100 for five days out of the eight since my book came out. I can never thank you enough. I will never be able to convey my gratitude because there are no words to sufficiently describe just how thankful I am.

You’ve made my dreams come true. Thank you.