All posts filed under: ★★★★☆

Review: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

➽ “And no matter how desperate or dire, never pray to the gods that answer after dark.” The Invisible Life of Addie La Rue is the most enchanting release of 2020. I love a premise that sets up a question, one speculative element that creates a whole story. In V.E. Schwab’s latest adult novel, that question is: what if you were cursed to be forgotten by everyone you ever meet? In 18th century France, Addie LaRue is forced into a marriage she does not want. Willing to sacrifice anything to avoid a life in captivity, Addie makes a Faustian bargain for her freedom. She is willing to trade her soul for an eternal life living by her own rules, but The Darkness will not agree without a time limit. ➽ “You want an ending,” she says. “Then take my life when I am done with it. You can have my soul when I don’t want it anymore.” The Darkness is intrigued by her offer, enticed by a new game. He grants her wish to become …

Review: Why We Eat (Too Much) by Andrew Jenkinson

This is quite possibly my favourite Health book of all time. A bold claim, but the scope of this book, everything the author delved into and how brilliantly he explained everything was remarkable. And as far as non-fiction, goes I don’t think I have ever felt so compelled by a read. Dr Andrew Jenkinson is a bariatric surgeon and this book covers his perspective and research on the epidemic of obesity. It’s clear than Jenkinson is passionate about the subject, and it was refreshing to read a take that does not seek to blame the individual for their weight gain. Jenkinson acknowledges that there are so many important factors that contribute to weight gain that have nothing to do with willpower, laziness, greed, or all the horrible things obese people are labelled – which do far more harm than good. That said, for someone whose work and interest revolves around obese people, Jenkinson isn’t always that great at empathising with them. “The room darkened for a moment and I looked up from my notes. Mr …

Review: The Rearranged Life of Oona Lockhart by Margarita Montimore

“There would be bad days, there always would. But she’d collect these good days, each one illuminated, and string them together until they glowed brightly in her memory like Christmas lights in a mirrored room.” Oona Lockhart is conflicted. It’s New Year’s Eve 1982 and at midnight she will turn 19, with the biggest decision to make: should she move to Europe to study economics, or should she stay in NYC with her boyfriend and her band? And as the countdown to the new year begins, she makes one wish: I wish I didn’t have to chose. The clock strikes midnight … and she wakes up in 2015. She is 51 years old This is an absolute gem of a novel, all about a woman living her life out of order. What a premise! So completely my cup of tea, and the story was just as emotional as it promised to be. This one is not a plot-driven novel, and while there were times while reading I felt the bitter sting of missed opportunity, the …

Review: Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

“Months passed, winter easing gently into place, as southern winters do. The sun, warm as a blanket, wrapped Kya’s shoulders, coaxing her deeper into the marsh. Sometimes she heard night-sounds she didn’t know or jumped from lightning too close, but whenever she stumbled, it was the land that caught her. Until at last, at some unclaimed moment, the heart-pain seeped away like water into sand. Still there, but deep. Kya laid her hand upon the breathing, wet earth, and the marsh became her mother.” I was completely entranced by this story, in ways I never expected to be. It was memorable, both in character and in content, and though it was only a story about one little girl in one small part of the world, it swept me off my feet as if it were a saga. It’s books like these that prove stories do not to be epic in scope to pack a punch. You can still fall in love with a character and their journey, and that’s exactly what I did. If you’re …

Review: The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang

“You called a god, and the god answered.” The Poppy War may actually be the adult fantasy debut of the year. Everyone and their mother is raving about it, five-star reviews are littering Goodreads. And though I may not have ended up quite as obsessed as the rest of the bookish community, I was still immensely impressed. If you’re a fan of Chinese-inspired high fantasy, pay attention. The Poppy War draws from the culture in so many different ways, ways that make it stand out from other books in the genre. It draws from the rich folklore of course, but touches more on lesser known legends, creatures of nightmare and notably DEITIES. There are copious martial arts here, if you’re into that, but most importantly, the story itself is based on true Chinese history (and a very interesting history, at that.) Author R. F. Kuang sums it up perfectly: “This is, as I’ve always conceived it, a war story. It draws heavily on the Second Sino-Japanese war which–if you know anything about Asia–was one of …