With absolutely no preamble, here are the books I read last month and what I thought of them:
I Am I Am I Am – Maggie O’Farrell
This was incredible and by far the best book I’ve read recently. I’ve never read any of O’Farrell’s literature before, so I was stepping into blind territory with her memoirs. As a lifelong Sylvia Plath fan, it’s most likely the title that grabbed me, but the premise is equally as poetic. Each chapter is a re-telling of a moment in time where O’Farrell almost died. And there’s 21 chapters. Perhaps one or two are drawn out and exacerbated for tension, but most of them are genuine life-or-death moment, and even though you know she survives due to the presence of this book in your hands, you won’t find yourself able to tear your eyes away from the page. My mother read this immediately after me and she absolutely loved it too. Definitely one to put on your reading list!
Death Note Parts 1&2 – Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata
I watched the recent film adaptation of DeathNote on Netflix and, despite all the disappointment from the community, I thoroughly enjoyed it and decided to start reading the anime series. I have never ever read a comic, graphic novel or manga before and it surprised me how easy it was to get into it. Reading right to left was confusing at first, but it was easy enough to pick up as you went along. The basic premise is a Japanese high-schooler, Light, comes across a notebook that belongs to a Shinigami, or Death Demon. If he writes somebody’s name into the notebook, they will die. A detective, known only as L meanwhile tries to track down who’s responsible for all these seemingly unsolvable killings. I can see that a lot of things were changed and convoluted in the Netflix film, but I personally very much enjoyed both.
All That She Can See – Carrie Hope Fletcher
I debated buying this when it first came out, then dismissed the idea after reading the first page of another YouTuber’s ‘book’ and visibly cringing at how bad the writing was (she’ll remain nameless). Then, Carrie Hope Fletcher came to my work to do a signing and she was so nice and charming and amiable, that I simply had to buy a signed copy. She’s the only celebrity signing we’ve done where meeting the person made me like them more. For this reason, you should buy the book. On the other hand, you can hear her voice shining through the narration on every page, and a good author should be able to focalise from their character’s POV, not their own. Also, the plot-line is truly beautiful until there’s about 100 pages left, at which point it gallops away at 200mph and the story takes a completely unbelievable turn – and this is from a perfectly believable world where people can see feelings manifested as other-worldly beings. My advice? Read it until you have 100 pages left and then put it down and enjoy the simple beauty of a classic love story with a twist.
Did You See Melody – Sophie Hannah
So, I kind of hate being down on books. Usually, if I’m not into a book, I’ll put it down and move straight on to the next one. Did You See Melody is being marketed as the ‘best psychological thriller’ in recent months, and a startling breakout for crime writer Sophie Hannah. Unfortunately, after reading this book, I’m never going to read anything by Sophie Hannah ever again. I kept going with this book just to see if there was a massively amazing twist at the end. There’s not. Basic premise is a woman goes on holiday to a fancy American resort to get away from her family. Whilst there, she thinks she sees America’s most famous murder victim, who is not murdered and actually alive. She tries to figure out what is going on. What has gone on is actually very boring and it is told in a very languid and calm way, which makes it more boring. Silver lining: the transcripts of YouTube videos, TV shows and web-pages are actually very interesting. An idea to make this book better would have been to tell the entire book in this format. Read this if you like books where nothing happens.
Whew! This was actually really fun to write, I think I’m finally getting the hang of these book review posts now! Have you read any of these books? What are you currently reading? I’m currently prepping for a Halloween-themed book post later on this month so I’m reading the intensely terrifying Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt. It’s about a 16th century witch with sewn shut eyes and mouth who has laid a curse on this modern-day American town. It’s so scary – I hope y’all appreciate the things I do for you guys!!!
See you tomorrow! P.