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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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The Big Four Review

4

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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Be Your Own #Goals Review

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Be Your Own #Goals

Be Your Own #Goals by Kristen Martin is, in a word, life-changing. Everything about this book screamed at me to change the way I’ve been thinking from self-deprecating to self-believing. But, not only that, Kristen Martin’s book helps the reader to shift mindset. This is definitely a book I would recommend to anyone stuck in a self-deprecating cycle.

Although I usually do not read personal development books, I am so happy I decided to read Be Your Own #Goals. It was inspirational, motivational, and brutally honest. I cannot imagine how difficult it must have been for Kristen to write some of the things in this book. Her honesty is nothing short of brave.

There are dozens of life lessons held within the pages of this book, all of which I desperately needed to learn. One of which is that if you fixate on something you lack, you’ll only see more lacking in your life. That being said, I do not agree with everything in this book: I don’t think you should behave like you have an endless supply of money if you don’t.

There are a couple of typos in the book, but not enough for it to be distracting. The positivity, and the message, outweigh any typos.

Be Your Own #Goals is one of the most empowering books I’ve ever read.

Rating: 95%

Buy Be Your Own #Goals:
Amazon UK
Amazon US
Book Depository
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