book blog · Bookish News

June Bookish News | Women’s Prize For Fiction, Persuasion Trailer + More

June 15th, 2022

Hi Readers!

This is coming a bit early this month, but that’s because the Women’s Prize winner was announced yesterday and I’m too excited to share my opinion! There’s also been a lot of exciting developments in adaptations the past few weeks.

Here are my picks for the most exciting releases coming out in June.

Paperback Releases:

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Season 3 of Umbrella Academy Netflix

Comes Out June 22nd
Based on the graphic novels by Gerard Way.
Starring Elliot Page, Tom Hopper, David Castañeda, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Robert Sheehan, & Aidan Gallagher

Love & Gelato Netflix

Releases June 22nd
Based on the novel by Jenna Evans-Welch
Starring Susanna Skaggs, Tobia De Angelis, and Owen McDonnell

The Summer I Turned Pretty Amazon Prime Video

Releases June 17th
Based On The Novel by Jenny Han
Starring Lola Tung, Christopher Briney, and Gavin Casalegno

Everything I Know About Love BBC

On the BBC IPlayer now.
Based on the memoir by Dolly Alderton
Starring Emma Appleton and Bel Powley

We Have A Trailer For Persuasion!

On my first watch of this, my initial reaction was, what is this?

Now I’ve given it some time to process, and I think I could enjoy this movie, if I forget it’s Jane Austen. This isn’t a faithful adaptation, Anne is so out of character, and I’m pretty sure the word ‘exes’ hadn’t been coined yet… But for some reason Hollywood has decided that Austen is boring and they need to spice it up a bit. We’ll see how that turns out…

We got a teaser trailer for the new Hunger Games based on Suzanne Collin’s prequel Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.

I don’t know anyone who wants this, but it’s happening. It’s been given a release date of November 2023, but no news on cast yet.

Season Two Of Shadow & Bone finished filming!

Rick Riordan gave us some Percy Jackson casting news as filming got underway.

Red, White & Royal Blue got it’s main leads. Taylor Zakhar Perez is Alex Claremont-Diaz Nicholas Galitzine is Henry Fox-Mountchristen-Windsor.

I’ve seen a lot of people not happy with this casting, and whilst I haven’t read the I do agree. They look too old for the role and I’m tired of straight actors being cast into gay roles.

We got our first teaser poster for The School For Good & Evil

A film adapted from the novel by Soman Chainani and starring High School Musicals (tmts) Sofia Wylie, Shadow & Bone’s Kit Young, and Charlize Theron.

We also got a poster upcoming adapation for Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman, which is releasing in August.

The Women’s Prize For Fiction 2022 Goes To…

The Book Of Form And Emptiness by Ruth Ozeki!
Not my number one choice (The Island of Missing Trees). Or my number two choice (Sorrow and Bliss). But I guess it’s my number three choice by default as I wasn’t able to read the other three on the shortlist.

I had a rocky time reading this book, but my full thoughts are in my review here.

Costa announced it would no longer be hosting the Costa Book Awards.

This award, which ran for 50 years, has been a huge boost for the nominated and winning books. So far Costa hasn’t given an explanantion as to why and there hasn’t been any news as to whether is could be sponsered by anybody else, but hopefully they can as losing this will be a big blow to the industry.

Imogen Hermes Gower is ready to be published again.

It’s been four years since her super hyped debut The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock was released and Gower found the experience ‘discombobulating’. But she’s possibly ready to dip her toes in again, and I for one will be here when she’s ready.

Matthew Perry Has Finished Writing His Autobiography

I’m not usually a fan of celebrity books, but I am quite excited for this one.

We Had A Beautiful Cover Reveal For Sarah Underwood’s Lies We Sing To The Sea

This is a beautiful book and I am all here for a sapphic Odyssey retelling!

What do you guys think of this years Women’s Prize winner? And are you excited, or devastated about the new adaptation of Persuasion?

Thanks For Reading,
Jess X

book blog · Book Review

Book Review | This Time Tomorrow by Emma Straub …time travel with heart

June 10th, 2022

Hi Readers

I never know how to feel about time travel. I always feel it’s too quirky and complicated. I’m not sure what made me pick up an entire book about it, but I’m glad I did.

| Published: June 2022 by Michael Joseph |
| Genre: Science Fiction / Contemporary |
| Themes: Time Travel, Father/Daughter relationship |
| Length: 320 Pages |
| Age: Adult |
| My Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ |

Alice Stern isn’t ready to turn forty. She thought she’d have more time to figure it all out. Above all, she thought she’d have more time with her father, Leonard – but he’s lying in a hospital bed and Alice isn’t sure if she’ll hear his voice again.

When she falls asleep outside their old apartment on the night before her birthday, she’s surprised to be greeted the next morning by a much younger Leonard, with a sixteenth birthday card for a teenage Alice who, far from clinging to her youth, is hurtling towards adulthood . . .

Alice soon discovers how she got back here, to 1996 and her sixteenth birthday, and realises she can keep on coming, whenever she chooses.

But faced each time with different versions of her life, and the consequences of her decisions, it’s on her not to lose sight of what she wants most . . .

This reminded me of a few things. About Time, The Midnight Library. It’s a time travel novel with heart, focusing on relationships and life rather than the time travel aspect itself. The balance between science-fiction and contemporary may not work for everyone.

Some will think the time travel element is flawed and unbelievable. But I like how Straub was able to explore Alice’s life choices through. What happens to Alice is a lot of peoples fantasy. To go back with the knowledge of hindsight.

I loved that Straub decided to focus on a father/daughter relationship rather than a romantic one. It makes this book heartbreakingly touching and emotional, and I really felt attatched to these characters. The hospital scenes at the beginning were especially well written.

‘Alice saw it now: all her life, she’d thought of death as the single moment, the heart stopping, the final breathe, but now she knew that it could be much more like giving birth, with nine months of preperation. Her father was heavily pregnant with death, and there was little to do but wait.’

It went down routes I wasn’t expecting, and Alice made choices that didn’t feel wholly in character. But it’s beginning and ending was beautiful. This book was funny and moving, and this was my first Emma Straub book, but it won’t be my last.

Thanks For Reading,
Jess X

Book Review

Book Review | The Lost Daughter by Elena Ferrante …beach read with a bite

June 7th, 2022

Hi Readers!

You may know, if you’ve been reading my blog awhile, I already consider Ferrante a favourite author. But I’ve never actually dipped into her earlier works from before the Neopolitan trilogy. This is mainly because I just don’t want to never have a new Ferrante book to read. But I decided to finally make a start on them this Summer with The Lost Daughter.

| Published: 2008 by Europa Editions |
| Translated by: Ann Goldstein |
| Genre: Contemporary |
| Themes: Motherhood, Italy |
| Length: 140 Pages |
| Age: Adult |
| My Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ |

Leda, a middle-aged divorcée, is alone for the first time in years after her two adult daughters leave home to live with their father in Toronto. Enjoying an unexpected sense of liberty, she heads to the Ionian coast for a vacation.

But she soon finds herself intrigued by Nina, a young mother on the beach, eventually striking up a conversation with her. After Nina confides a dark secret, one seemingly trivial occurrence leads to events that could destroy Nina’s family. 

The Lost Daughter is a beach read with a bite.

Elena Ferrante is a master at exploring themes with a harsh, uncensored honesty. In The Lost Daughter motherhood is at the centre, and she doesn’t hold back when discussing the difficult realities that come with it.

“The hardest things to talk about are the ones we ourselves can’t understand.”

At the centre of the story is Elena, a divorced mother whose now grown up children have moved across the world to live with their father. Alone for the first time in two decades, she feels elated freedom from motherhood, and takes an extended vacation to the sea, where she becames ever so slightly obsessed with a mother and daughter she comes across one day on the beach.

“How foolish to think you can tell your children about yourself before they’re at least fifty. To ask to be seen by them as a person and not as a function. To say : I am your history, you begin from me, listen to me, it could be useful to you.”

I just love how this book has all the feels of a beach read. The majority is set on a beach, with the main character spending most of the time reading in the sun; but it’s dark. On the surface it’s a picture perfect holiday, but the atmosphere is eerie, and you’re just waiting for a storm to happen.

The style is similar to that of her Neopolitan Novels, and the main character also reminded me of Lenu in that she’s also unlikable and tricky to understand. But I did also feel sympathy for her and her struggles with motherhood.

I also think the title is genius because it could be referring to so many things. There’s just so much about this book that can be dissected and that’s why I consider Ferrante a favourite author of mine. All of her books are so layered and full of depth. Her characters aren’t simple, they’re complicated and flawed, and because of that feel real.

Now I can’t wait to watch the Maggie Gyllanhall adaptation, because I literally read this book in Olivia Colman’s voice. What a perfect casting choice that was!

Thanks For Reading,
Jess X

book blog · Book Review

Book Review | Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

June 3rd, 2022

Hi Readers!

I’ve given this book a few reads now, and it’s still my least favourite Jane Austen and the only one that ever feels like a struggle to read.

| Published: 1814 |
| Genre: Classic |
| Themes: Romance, Class |
| Length: 488 Pages |
| Age: Adult |
| My Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ |

Taken from the poverty of her parents’ home in Portsmouth, Fanny Price is brought up with her rich cousins at Mansfield Park, acutely aware of her humble rank and with her cousin Edmund as her sole ally.

During her uncle’s absence in Antigua, the Crawford’s arrive in the neighbourhood bringing with them the glamour of London life and a reckless taste for flirtation.

Mansfield Park is considered Jane Austen’s first mature work and, with its quiet heroine and subtle examination of social position and moral integrity, one of her most profound. 

Mansfield Park is the third novel Austen published after Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice, and it just doesn’t have the same intrigue or excitement as it’s predecesor’s. The main flaw for me lies in it’s two main characters.

Mansfield Park becomes the home of Fanny Price after she is taken in by her Aunt and Uncle to relieve her mother of the burden of having too many children to care for. Fanny as a child feels out of place, careful not to make the wrong move for fear of annoying or disrupting her relatives. She doesn’t feel she quite belongs. Perhaps that’s why she’s such a meek, dull character.

Her cousin Edmund, who is just as unexciting, tries his best to help her settle which eventually leads to Fanny falling in love with him. Now, I know Austen knows how to write a romance. But this one was bland and icky and I was not rooting for them. Even after finishing it, I wasn’t convinced.

In terms of social themes, this is the most interesting of Austen’s books however. Fanny comes from a poor family with parents who have too many children they can care for. Fanny’s mother married ‘beneath her,’ and paid the price by being cast aside by her family and finding herself married to a drunk sailor. I think this book shows us what Austen’s view of the lower classes were and it isn’t favourable.

But it still some of her wit and humour comes through, and there were certainly some entertaining moments. I’ve seen some people have said Fanny’s character is actually a satire of the ‘perfect, angelistic romantic heroine’ and I do think it would be quite interesting to read the book in that light. I should have learnt by now never to take Austen seriously.

Thanks For Reading,
Jess X

book blog

Ten Reasons Why You Should Read ‘The Island Of Missing Trees’ by Elif Shafak

June 1st, 2022

Hi Readers!

It’s not often I give a book five stars, and I’ve decided that when I do, I want to try my best to get as many people to read it as possible. But not everyone will feel like reading 600+ word review of my gushing about everything I loved about that book, which is fine. That’s why this type of post will be bullet points.

It was easy to come up with ten reasons why I think you should read The Island Of Missing Trees. It truly was a phenomenol read and I just want to share my love for it with as many people as possible.

Here are the ten reasons why I think you should read The Island of Missing Trees by Elif Shafak.

  • It educates you on Cyrpus’s History

I had no knowledge of the divide in Cyprus that still runs through the country to this day. It taught me about the physical and emotional scars it left on the country as a whole.

  • The writing was delicious

It’s a book full of metaphor and imagery, and I just found myself continually gushing over it.

  • It’s anti-war message

This makes it especially poignant of our time.

  • Explores online bullying and going viral

The internet is a scary place, but Shafak was able to make it look survivable.

  • The way it talks about refugees

Again, so important for our time. This book may be set in Cyprus, but there are so many countries this could be about.

  • It teaches about having compassion for living things that aren’t human

I love how empathetic Shafak makes her characters, even in the midst of war.

  • Explores healing after losing a loved one

It’s never easy to lose a parent, but it’s especially hard for a teenager.

  • It’s portrayal of father / daughter relationships

I always find this an emotional dynamic and Shafak did it so well!

  • There’s a talking tree

…sort of. At least, there’s a voice of a tree. A very wise fig tree that is basically a witness to everything that happens to the characters.

  • Beautifully explains mental health

I’ll just leave you with this quote, where Elif uses a tree to explain mental illness: ‘the tree’s roots are encircling the base of it’s trunk, choking off the water and nutrients. Nobody had realised because it was invisible, below the soil surface. If the encircling roots are not found in time, they can put pressure on the tree and it just becomes too much to bear’.

I hope this post has made you consider picking this book up. I think it’s a special one. A real treat for all readers.

Thanks For Reading,
Jess X

book blog · Top Ten Tuesday

Ten Comfort Reads | TTT

May 31st, 2022

Note: Top Ten Tuesday Is A Weekly Meme Hosted by The Artsy Reader

Hi Readers!

This weeks Top Ten Tuesday topic speaks to my soul. I feel like I’ve done this post before and have talked about these books a million times, so there’s nothing very new here if you’ve been here for a while, but here are the ten books which are unfailingly comforting.

So many of these are on here because they’re a favourite story, and I’ve just read them so many times. I think there’s something so comforting in going back to characters you know so well.

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgsen Burnett

The Perks Of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Thanks For Reading,
Jess X

book blog · Bookish News

Monthly Bookish News Round Up | May 2022 | Book Prizes and Heartstopper Got Renewed!

May 27th, 2022

Hi Readers!

I thought I would do a little experiment here. Try something new. In this post I’ve put together a round up of some of the exciting book news we’ve had in May, including releases, film and TV, book awards and announcements. Hope you enjoy!

Here are my picks for the Most Exciting Books Released In May.

Paperback Releases:

Virgos are huge helpers.

The Essex Serpent AppleTv

Based On The Novel by Sarah Perry
Starring Claire Danes and Tom Hiddleston

This one completely crept up on me. I had no idea this was even being adapted, let alone Tom Hiddleston was at the helm. Unfortunately, I do not have AppleTV but I might have to get it one day just to watch this.

Newly widowed Cora, having been released from an abusive marriage, relocates from Victorian London to a small village in Essex, intrigued by a local superstition that a mythical creature known as the Essex Serpent has returned to the area.

Heartstopper Netflix

Based On The Graphic Novel by Alice Oseman
Starring Kit Conner and Joe Locke

The highly anticipated YA adaptation is here! It also technically came out in April, but we did get the news this month that it’s been renewed for two more seasons! I’ve been hesitant because I’m not a fan of graphic novels, but seeing all the excitement has prompted me to reserve a copy at the library, and once I’ve read that, I can finally watch this first series!

Teens Charlie and Nick discover their unlikely friendship might be something more as they navigate school and young love in this coming-of-age series.

Conversations With Friends BBC

Based On The Novel by Sally Rooney
Starring Alison Oliver, Jemima Kirke, Joe Alwyn

This one hasn’t quite hit the ground running like Normal People did, but it’s still well worth a watch if you’re a fan of the book.

In the summer before their final year in college, Frances and her best friend, Bobbi, meet an impressive writer, Melissa. Frances finds herself drawn to Melissa’s husband, Nick.

The Time Traveler’s Wife Now TV

The film industry is at it again with adapting the same books over and over. I know the Rachel McAdams one wasn’t the most faithful and missed out a lot of things from the book, but I’m not sure I can spend any more of my time with this story. What do you think?

Henry is an ordinary man with an extraordinary gift, a gene that allows him to travel through time involuntarily. Claire, his wife, finds it difficult to cope with his ability.

Firestarter Theatre and Peacock TV

Based On The Novel by Stephen King
Starring Zac Efron and Ryan Kiera Armstrong

Another Stephen King adaptation to add to the list. I always see Firestarter being compared to Stranger Things, and we also get a new season of Stranger Things this month. But if that’s not enough, this might be worth giving a go, just for Zac Efron!

A couple desperately try to hide their daughter, Charlie, from a shadowy federal agency that wants to harness her unprecedented gift for turning fire into a weapon of mass destruction. Her father taught her how to defuse her power, but as Charlie turns 11, the fire becomes harder and harder to control. When a mysterious operative finally finds the family, he tries to seize Charlie once and for all — but she has other plans.

We also got a trailor for the new BBC series based on Dolly Alderton’s memoir Everything I Know About Love.

This doesn’t have a release date yet but I reckon we’ll be getting it sometime this Summer.

And the trailor for the final season of Love, Victor

This series started strong for me, but I didn’t like the second season. It got a bit messy and tried to do too much in it’s short 20 minute episodes. I probably won’t watch the final season. But it’s back June 15th, if you are interested.

Finally, we got a teaser for Pistol, the book based on Lonely Boy: Tales From A Sex Pistol.

This looks epic and is coming to Disney+ at the end of May.

May is a busy month for book prizes. Here’s everything that went down:

Firstly on May 9th, the 2022 Pulitzer Prize winners were announced.

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize For Fiction
The Netanyahus by Joshua Cohen

Corbin College, not-quite-upstate New York, winter 1959-1960: Ruben Blum, a Jewish historian – but not an historian of the Jews – is coopted onto a hiring committee to review the application of an exiled Israeli scholar specializing in the Spanish Inquisition. When Benzion Netanyahu shows up for an interview, family unexpectedly in tow, Blum plays the reluctant host, to guests who proceed to lay waste to his American complacencies. Mixing fiction with non-fiction, the campus novel with the lecture, THE NETANYAHUS is a wildly inventive, genre-bending comedy of blending, identity, and politics.

Check out all of the Pulitzer Prize winners for 2022 Here.

The British Book Awards were also this month. Open Water was named best debut, Marian Keyes got author of the year, and Meg Mason’s Sorrow and Bliss was named Best Fiction. But the overall Book Of The Year was given to a football star.

Book Of The Year, 2022
You Are A Champion by Marcus Rashford

‘There is no finish line when it comes to your dreams.’

You Are A Champion will empower young people aged 10+ to develop positive thinking, build mental resilience, learn how to navigate adversity and, ultimately, to achieve their full potential.

Written with journalist Carl Anka, You Are A Champion is the empowering and life changing first children’s book from Marcus Rashford MBE. It is full of practical advice and engaging illustrations and infographics, including input from performance psychologist Katie Warriner.

International Booker Prize, 2022
Tomb of Sand by Geetanjali Shree
Translated by Daisy Rockwell

An eighty-year-old woman slips into a deep depression at the death of her husband, then resurfaces to gain a new lease on life. Her determination to fly in the face of convention – including striking up a friendship with a hijra (trans) woman – confuses her bohemian daughter, who is used to thinking of herself as the more ‘modern’ of the two.

At the older woman’s insistence they travel back to Pakistan, simultaneously confronting the unresolved trauma of her teenage experiences of Partition, and re-evaluating what it means to be a mother, a daughter, a woman, a feminist.

Rather than respond to tragedy with seriousness, Geetanjali Shree’s playful tone and exuberant wordplay results in a book that is engaging, funny, and utterly original, at the same time as being an urgent and timely protest against the destructive impact of borders and boundaries, whether between religions, countries, or genders. 

Stephen King teased his upcoming book ‘Fairy Tale’ on Twitter and, knowing Stephen King, this book will be anything but a fairytale.

Holly Bourne’s upcoming adult novel Girl Friends got a cover reveal.

John Green gave us an update on the Turtles All The Way Down movie:

I’d love to know if you enjoyed this, and what else you’d like to see. This was a fun post to do so I’ll definitely continue doing it. There was so much I didn’t know was happening. Like, since when was Turtles All The Way Down being adapted? I had no idea!

Thanks For Reading,
Jess X

book blog · Book Review

Book Review | Something Wilder by Christina Lauren… a Summer romance I didn’t know I needed

May 25th, 2022

Hi Readers!

Christina Lauren has really been hit or miss for me so far, and requesting this book on netgalley was really done on a whim. I need to follow my whim’s more often!

| Published: May 2022 by Gallery Books |
| Genre: Contemporary Romance |
| Length: 384 Pages |
| Age: Adult |
| My Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ |

Lily has never forgotten the man that got away . . . but she certainly hasn’t forgiven him either!

As the daughter of a notorious treasure hunter, Lily makes ends meet using her father’s coveted hand-drawn maps, guiding tourists on fake treasure hunts through the canyons of Utah. When the man she once loved walks back into her life with a motley crew of friends, ready to hit the trails, Lily can’t believe her eyes. Frankly, she’d like to take him out into the wilderness – and leave him there.

Leo wants nothing more than to reconnect with his first and only love. Unfortunately, Lily is all business: it’s never going to happen. But when the trip goes horribly and hilariously wrong, the group wonders if maybe the legend of the hidden treasure wasn’t a gimmick after all. Alone under the stars in the isolated and dangerous mazes of the Canyonlands, Leo and Lily must decide whether they’ll risk their lives, and their hearts, on the adventure of a lifetime . . .

Something Wilder is a second chance romance set in Western America. After a short lived romance on a ranch, Lily and Leo are pulled apart and their fairytale future ends before it even begun. But 10 years later they meet again on a Summer camping adventure Leo doesn’t know Lily runs.

This book almost felt like a cinematic experience. It was like watching a high budget rom com, with Hollywood stars as the leads, unfolding before my eyes. It had the most beautiful locations, the funniest lines, and took turns I was not expecting.

Something Wilder really keeps you on your toes. When you think you know where the story’s going, it soon steers you in the opposite direction. I was so hooked.

Every character was incredible with huge amounts of personality. And just when you’re thinking ‘why is this character here?’ or ‘this feels too much like a coincidence’, everything clicks into place.

This book has everything I never knew I needed in a Summer read. There’s an adorable romance, yes, and I was absolutely rooting for these two characters. But it also has mystery, suspense, clues and puzzles, hunting for treasure, camping, bonfires, even horses!

This is definitely the type of book you want to go in knowing the least about it. So get your hands on it as soon as you can! Trust me, you won’t be disappointed!

Thanks For Reading,
Jess X

book blog

20 Books On My Summer ’22 TBR

May 20th, 2022

Hi Readers!

I saw this fun challenge on 746Books’s blog to share a list of 20 (or 15, or 10) books to read over the three months of Summer (June, July, August) and I thought it would be fun to join in.

Last week I shared 10 Romances I Want To Read This Summer. But when I really think of Summer, I think of classics. It takes me back to my school days when I would normally be given a book to read for English. So I’ve just always associated classics with Summer.

So I wanted this list to be mostly classics, but there are a few non-fiction as well as I’m really enjoing those at the moment.

Cathy’s announcement post can be found here: 20 Books Of Summer Challenge

Rereads

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Middlemarch by George Eliot
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Neopolitan Novels by Elena Ferrante
Howards End by E.M. Forster
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

Classics

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The Waves by Virginia Woolf (technically also a reread)
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas
A Passage To India by E.M. Forster
The Odyssey by Homer

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Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin
Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh

Other

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Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
The Remains Of The Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

To Sir Philip, With Love by Julia Quinn
The Women Of Troy by Pat Barker

Non-Fiction

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Napoleon The Great by Andrew Roberts
The Corfu Trilogy by Gerald Durrell
Sylvia Plaths Journals
Down And Out In Paris by George Orwell


What book are you most excited to read this Summer?

Thanks For Reading,
Jess X

book blog · Book Review

Book Review | Grown Ups by Marian Keyes

May 18th, 2022

Hi Readers!

This was my first Marian Keyes and I thought it would be a good place to start as it’s the one I’ve seen the most people read. But unfortunately it’s left me doubting whether I’ll ever pick anything of hers up again.

| Published: February 2020, Michael Joseph |
| Genre: Contemporary |
| Themes: Eating Disorder, Family Saga, |
| Length: 560 Pages |
| Age: Adult |
| My Rating: ⭐ ⭐ |

They’re a glamorous family, the Caseys. Johnny Casey, his two brothers Ed and Liam, their beautiful, talented wives and all their kids spend a lot of time together–birthday parties, anniversary celebrations, weekends away. And they’re a happy family. Johnny’s wife, Jessie–who has the most money–insists on it. Under the surface, though, conditions are murkier.

While some people clash, other people like each other far too much . . . Still, everything manages to stay under control–that is, until Ed’s wife, Cara, gets a concussion and can’t keep her thoughts or opinions to herself. One careless remark at Johnny’s birthday party, with the entire family present, and Cara starts spilling all their secrets.

As everything unravels, each of the adults finds themselves wondering if it’s–finally–the time to grow up.

But I really wasn’t expecting this to end up as a two star read after the first chapter, where we’re introduced to the stars of this family saga at a dinner party, and get a glimpse of everyones personalities, relationships and possible tensions. It started so strong, but I couldn’t bring myself to care for any of the characters, and it became a struggle to complete.

I just found this quite boring. It dragged, I wasn’t fully engaged, and I know it’s a long book but it felt long. It was a task to finish and I was quite glad when it was over.

You know how you read a fantasy book and can sometimes criticise it for too much world building. This book had the contemporary equivilant to too much world building. But I suppose I would call it character building. I love feeling like I know my characters but Keyes wanted to show us every meeting of every couple, there’s quite a few of them and it was a bit much.

Even with their flaws, none felt whole or real because there was just too much of it. And maybe that was my problem. There’s too much. Too many characters, plots, side plots, tensions, issues, secrets. Honestly it was hard to keep up with the characters and all that was going on with them, and was so confusing as moments.

A bit of a disappointing read because I know so many love Marian Keyes. I’m not opposed to reading her again though because I want to feel the love too.

Thanks For Reading,
Jess X