I find that reading can often help you learn things; I learned something new about myself from reading this month: I think I’ve been desensitized to some extent by the things I see on the internet everyday. Let me explain: the first two books I read this month were categorised as “horrors” and at least the first one was supposed to be pretty awful, leaving people unable to sleep and terrified. I did understand where the fear was in it, and in the second book two, but I was “scared” like I would be if I was watching a horror film. In the past I’ve read things that have kept me awake at night after finishing them because I’m so scared, or I’ve felt sick because of the descriptions of gore. The Deep had a good amount of gore in it, plus some really mind twisting things, yet it didn’t do that to me; Frozen Charlotte had dolls scratching on windows, and despite being home alone the night I finished it, again, no proper fear. Thanks, Internet, I’ve read too many horror stories that I’ve become somewhat desensitized!
I also decided to add something slightly new at the bottom of this post – a link up! I’m hoping that other bloggers will start sharing their book reviews from the past month here too, so make sure add yours if you have!
Anyway, on with the books:
I recently posted a full review of this – go here to read about it
! This wasn’t an amazing book, but it’s one of those ones I’m still thinking about, almost a month after I’ve finished it…definitely recommend!
For some reason, I decided it was a good idea to pick two “horror” books while I was alone at home for a few days while Ben was away on business – as I mentioned, although they didn’t “scare” me as such, there were the occasional creepy moments where I wondered why I’d picked them!
Frozen Charlotte is technically more aimed at YA apparently (under a children’s Publisher, but please don’t give this to a child to read!), but that’s alright because I love a bit of YA reading every now and again (or more..!). The book opens with a prologue of a scene set in an old boarding school, girls claiming that dolls are talking to them, then dives into the story headlong with Sophie, a modern teen, messing around with a Ouija board app (interesting modern twist on this theme!) with one of her friends – things turn a bit strange, a lot of light flickering and imagery that you can imagine would work well on a screen. Disaster happens (no spoilers here!), and though she wants to remain at home, she’s sent off to stay with her cousins in remote Scotland in a house that was once a boarding school for girls.
Each of her cousins seem a bit strange, from Cameron with a mysteriously scarred hand but immense musical talent on the piano nonetheless, to ever-positive Piper, similar in age to her, and little Lilias who has a fear of bones, even the skeleton inside her. And of course, the dolls which remain in the room of the cousin who passed away when she was younger.
I’m sure you can imagine the sort of story this is, but there were little additions to the “creepy dolls” story that brought it more into the present, giving it more of a sense of reality, such as teenagers camping out on the beach, and twists in the plot that bring to light what’s really going on.
It wasn’t an amazing read, but it was definitely very good and the plot was well done. It had a little bit of an obvious creepiness about it, with rolling fogs and an old boarding school set on the clifftops, but I’d definitely recommend it for teens and young people wanting a slightly scary but not terrifying tale.
For some reason I picked 2 “time-travelling” books to read this month, one immediately after the other, even though I know that I get stressed reading them because: TIME PARADOXES! Brain cannot deal. But then again, I love me some dystopian near future world novels, so they do appeal to me somewhat.
The Here and Now is a YA adult following Prenna who “immigrated” to New York at age 12, but as you can imagine, it was from a different time rather than a different country. There is in fact a whole community of people from that time, there because their world was falling apart before their eyes. And of course, there are rules. She cannot reveal the truth of where she has come from; she has to learn to speak and act as they do in that day and age; and crucially, she cannot form close relationships or become intimate with anyone from the present time.
I’m pretty sure you can figure out at least vaguely where the story goes from there! I did enjoy reading the book, but it was definitely a very simple YA novel to me that did occasionally bother me with some time paradoxes (I find my brain screaming: “But that’s impossible!!” sometimes!). The characters were fine but not hugely developed, and the storyline went generally as I expected it to. A pretty good read, but not particularly memorable to me.
As I said, another time travel novel, this one with even bigger paradoxes and a slightly stranger story line, and also another that’s aimed at YAs, but I’d say with a slightly more mature audience in mind than The Here and Now.
The story follows 16 year old Nick – he makes a somewhat dangerous journey to an old fort on a forbidden island shrouded in mist as part of a school project, slyly encouraged by a rogue teacher. What follows is stranger than you’d think! He enters a time wormhole where he meets Ellie along with a strange man – considering the summary on Goodreads, I don’t think I’ll be giving the story away to tell you that they are given a very important mission: to be transported back in time to the birth of mankind, right back to biological Adam and Eve, to try to save them from destruction at the hands of another, very different, race wanting to destroy them and “reset” everything. And so they are transported to ancient Africa, tens of thousands of years ago, to not only survive themselves, but make the decisions to save others.
It wasn’t an amazing read but definitely made you think about the impact modern humanity has on the earth and what things might be like if it was different. The characters were actually pretty good, you get to know them well and feel anxiety, pain and fear along with them.
I knew from the description that this was going to be a good read, but I kept putting it off because I also knew something else: it was inevitably going to be sad. Daisy, a 27 year old woman who has already beaten breast cancer, finds that it has returned, and with a vengeance. It is now terminal and affecting various parts of her body. Given a matter of months to live, we follow her journey through diagnosis and living with grief before she even feels the affects of the cancer on her body, until she realises the one thing that’s most important to her: her husband, and ensuring his happiness and how he will survive without her. She decides to do one thing before she goes, find a new, and suitable, wife for him.
It is, of course, a distressing book. It’s something that most of us can’t even begin to imagine happening in our lives, but it feels so real. You experience everything she does, from the denial to the depression and the fear. It’s another that makes you think, but brings that thinking much closer to home. Daisy is a brilliant, lively character – even in dying, she’s full of life. Despite the content, it was a fairly quick read – mostly because I wanted to know what happened – and good to read. I’d definitely recommend this one.
And now, book bloggers, please feel free to add your links to any book reviews you’ve done over February! I love reading them to get inspiration, so let’s get sharing a bit more!