thoughts and things

What I’ve Read….July

This month has seemed to last a long time! I’ve managed to work my way through 4 books this month, which I am very pleased about. I’ve read some fab books this month, too.

The Judas Scar by Amanda Jennings

Scars. We all carry them. Some are mere scratches. Others run deeper.

At a school rife with bullying, Will and his best friend Luke are involved in a horrific incident that results in Luke leaving.

Twenty-five years later their paths cross again and memories of Will’s painful childhood come flooding back to haunt him. His wife, Harmony, who is struggling after a miscarriage that has hit her hard, wishes Will would open up about his experiences. But while Will withdraws further, she finds herself drawn to the charismatic stranger from her husbands past, and soon all three are caught in a tangled web of guilt, desire, betrayal and revenge.

I loved this book, it’s a book that was filled with tension and suspense, and I kept wanting to read more! The book starts in the aftermath of Harmony’s miscarriage and how this has affected her relationship with Will. At the same time, people and events from Wills past come to haunt him. The characters are really well described, you get to know them well and you can feel all the emotions in this book as it unravels. The book builds up the tension and you keep reading, keep wanting to know more! My full review as part of the Britmums book club is here. I would really recommend this book.

Paper Aeroplanes By Dawn O’Porter

I just can’t imagine me without you… It’s the mid-1990s, and fifteen year-old Guernsey schoolgirls, Renee and Flo, are not really meant to be friends. Thoughtful, introspective and studious Flo couldn’t be more different to ambitious, extroverted and sexually curious Renee But Renee and Flo are united by loneliness and their dysfunctional families, and an intense bond is formed. Although there are obstacles to their friendship (namely Flo’s jealous ex-best friend and Renee growing infatuation with Flo’s brother), fifteen is an age where anything can happen, where life stretches out before you, and when every betrayal feels like the end of the world. For Renee and Flo it is the time of their lives. With graphic content and some scenes of a sexual nature, PAPER AEROPLANES is a gritty, poignant, often laugh-out-loud funny and powerful novel. It is an unforgettable snapshot of small-town adolescence and the heart-stopping power of female friendship

I got this book as a free download in iBooks, which I was very pleased about! This is a book about friendship – the friends you make in school, the groups that form and how it feels to be a teenager and all the emotion that being a teenager with raging hormones brings. This book really brought back memories for me of school and especially of being a bit like Renee, the not so popular person. How friendships can mean so much, how friends and literally make or break you. I loved the fact it was set in the ’90s and I really had a few flashbacks, although I was only just a teenager in the mid ’90s. This book was easy to read, and whilst a young adult novel, wasn’t overly cheesy or predictable. The characters were real, raw and made mistakes, which I found refreshing. They aren’t perfect and this makes them more likeable and identifiable to you as a reader. I liked the style of writing, the way you saw things from both Renee and Flo’s point of view, and the mix of serious issues and quite funny comical parts. I am keen to read Goose now, Dawn’s second book.

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris’s initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

I have written before that I started Insurgent but at the time, I had to stop as just was not getting it. so, this month I picked it back up again, and just read it. To be honest, it got better as the book went on.  The initial first half of the book felt like wading through mud; and all the Tris/Tobias relationship stuff just felt a bit corny and cheesy to me. I did think the plot was going nowhere, but I felt that more of a story was forming towards the end, and I was really interested when it was hinted that there was more to the city and the factions than at first it seems. The conclusion of this book ends on a great cliffhanger, and I was interested enough to want to read the next book straight away!

Allegiant by Veronica Roth

What if your whole world was a lie?
What if a single revelation—like a single choice—changed everything?
What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected?
The explosive conclusion to Veronica Roth’s #1 New York Times bestselling Divergent trilogy reveals the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.

I was keen to read the conclusion to this series, and in a way, this book did not disappoint, However, I felt that some details were hurried over and some not well explained. I still don’t understand the significance of the Divergent, or why they were called Divergent, or why they were seen as ‘bad’ in the city, for example – it doesn’t add up to what is said within this part of the book.

However, I loved the fact we find out more about the world that Tris lives in, and find out more secrets about the factions and why they exist. It is so hard to talk about this book without giving things away!

I wasn’t keen on the way this book was written, from two perspectives (Tris and Four) – it meant that Four/Tobias for me changed as a character, and one I am not sure I liked in the end! The overall conclusion to this book is a shocker and there is a twist, one that I didn’t entirely see coming. I felt it was a fitting ending to a dystopian trilogy and overall I enjoyed this book. I think for me, Divergent will always be the stronger book of the three, but Alligient would come second – I felt Insurgent lost the plot a bit.

Overall this month I would recommend The Judas Scar, as it was such a compulsive read, and one that I think many of you lot would enjoy! Please let me know if you read any of these books so we can have a good natter about them!


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