All posts tagged: reading

Review: The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

I like a grim(m) fairy-tale retelling as much as the next person, and a dark, modern re-imagining of Alice in Wonderland sounds fab, does it not? And yes, for the first third of The Hazel Wood, I was excited. Engrossed, even. The premise is mysterious and enticing: Alice, our teenage protagonist, has been moving from place to place her entire life, her mum her only constant. She’s never really known why her mum keeps packing them off different places, but best she can tell it’s to escape the vicious “bad luck” they can’t help but encounter. “But I still saw the shadow of the bad luck: a woman who trailed me through a used bookstore, whispered something obscene in my ear as she picked my phone from my pocket. Streetlights winking out over my head, one by one, as I walked down the street after midnight. The same busker showing up with his guitar on every train I rode for a week, singing “Go Ask Alice” in his spooky tenor.” There’s something creepy about the …

Review: This is Water by David Foster Wallace

There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says, “Morning, boys. How’s the water?” And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over the other and goes, “What the hell is water?” Once upon a time, David Foster Wallace was invited to speak to the 2005 graduating class of Kenyon College on a subject of his choosing. This book is his speech; perfect to read over a cuppa and a great reminder about self-awareness and the choice of compassion. In bite-sized morsels, David Foster Wallace gives a lesson in the importance of choosing how to think, and keeping our educated adult brains from a 24/7 autopilot function, from a lifetime of slavery to the unconscious. It’s short and sweet, but so well-constructed you know David Foster Wallace could have fleshed this out into a full-length novel and you’d want to read it. The man knew what he was talking about, …

Review: The Obelisk Gate by N.K Jemisin

To summarize, it seems even the best authors can fall victim to Middle Book Syndrome.I still adore N.K. Jemisin, I still think she’s a goddess. The Obelisk Gate just didn’t do it for me. The first book in this series, The Fifth Season, was just so exciting. It was filled with incredible world-building and a well-paced journey with a complex and likable heroine. But whereas The Fifth Season was probably 70% backstory, I should really have known this installment would focus more on the present. The first half of the book was (comparatively) dull as mud. Nothing of much interest happens to Essun, she appeared stagnant and incapable. We got more about Nassun, Essun’s daughter, and her life-changing journey after the beginning of the latest apocalypse. Ultimately, she was interesting, but not for a long while. By the time things really started happening, I had already given into my boredom. I really wasn’t invested, and all I was really hoping for was more of Schaffa’s backstory. He had quickly become the most intriguing character, as …

Review: The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer

Mental Health Awareness Week takes place from May 16th to May 22nd with this year’s theme being relationships. Mental Health is a very important topic on this blog and I hope you’ll join me throughout this week where I’ll be posting every day for Mental Health Awareness Week. Have you ever had a book on your to-read shelf for absolute yonks, and you’ve really been wanting to read it but just never got round to it? And then one day you finally decide today’s the day and pick it up, only to realize it had been fate calling you this particular day, because you were meant to read this now. At this particular time of your life, on this exact Sunday when you’ve actually got the time to devour at least half of it on your day off. That’s how I felt about The Art of Asking, and what I think that people of my generation or in similar circumstances to mine will also feel if they were to pick it up.