Thursday 6 April 2017

Story Time // Quarterly Book Review

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There isn't much better than finding a story that pulls you in, takes hold of your imagination and even leaves you thinking about its characters and plot long after it's returned to your book shelf. The power of a great book! Books give you the opportunity to travel to lands far and wide, to experience all walks of life from the comfort of your pjs, to develop empathy and understanding, to discover new worlds-real and fictional and to escape from reality for pages at a time.

Here is my quarterly book review round up, sharing with you the novels I read during the months of January, February and March. I have really enjoyed everything I've read so far this year, we're off to a grand start! At the end of February as a birthday treat, I decided to jump into the third instalment in the Outlander series (I know, I'm just so wild), which did take me the entirety of March to complete pretty much, but man was it worth it!

As ever, I've written a personal review of each book but not included a summary or blurb per say, as I live in fear of ruining bits or revealing too much! I have however linked the Goodreads page for each one where you can find extensive information, if you so fancy, (I got you).

The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel     4* {288 pages}

This book took me by surprise. The startlingly controversial and disturbing subject and the sheer magnetic pull of this story, caught me unawares. I reached for this book simply down to it's intriguing summary and had never banked on falling for this deliciously dark tale. Engaging and suspenseful, this story follows angry and adrift Lane, an ancestor to more than just your average family legend, who discovers more than she hoped for one twisted summer back on Roanoke. Years later, after having dragged herself away from a dangerous environment she finds herself right back where she started, coming full circle and having to face dark and disturbing truths about her family, her mother and herself.

I was hooked with this one from the get go. Not to everyones taste, of course, as many reviewers have ran for the hills after hitting a certain point in the story, but for me I found it gripping and harrowing, needing to reach the end of the book if only to catch my breath. I would be interested in seeing what else this author has written (young adult books, I do believe) and hope that they continue to produce such thrilling novels as I look forward to reading more!

Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick     4* {304 pages}

Hilarious, insightful and if possible I love her even more now!

Anna Kendrick takes us on a sarcastic and charmingly awkward trip down memory lane, sharing with her readers detailed and honest snippets from where she began her career, to where she's heading right now, with some juicy bits in between. This is one for the fans, as it is classic Kendrick, firing on all cylinders. Prepare to make all the snort-laugh noises when reading this one in public!

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd     5* {336 pages}

Ah this book! This little treasure had been on my shelf for a while until, on a whim, I picked it up, turned to the first page and proceeded to fall in love. Beautifully written, tender and heart wrenching and such a touching story that leaves an impression long after completion.

This story unfolds in the 60s in rural South Carolina, revealing a brief insight into the life of an extraordinary young girl and the strong women who come into her life, the elusive woman who she never had a chance to know and hints of the woman she is set to become. This one is inspiring, uplifting and empowering.

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Meisje Vermisd (Girl Missing) by Tess Gerritsen     4* {256 pages}

Yes! My first Dutch book of the year! Well, I say Dutch, it is actually written by thriller/ cop drama writer Tess Gerritsen (of Rizzoli and Isles fame) translated into my second language and what a perfect book to use for practising said language!

Fast paced, intelligent characters and just lots of fun to read, what more could you want in a story? A classic 'who done it' tale involving a killer seemingly on a rampage, taking out young unfortunates framed as a drug overdose, but our hero and protagonist knows better!

Voyager by Diana Gabaldon      5* {1059 pages}

The third book in the epic Outlander series and boy what a corker this one was! Just when you start to wonder how on Earth this magnificent story can reach new heights, at the turn of a page you're back in Edinburgh pushing through the bustling, cobbled streets of the late 1700's. Then before you know it you're tossed aboard a British man of war with it's crew suffering a deadly epidemic, from which you're thrown overboard washing up somewhere in the Caribbean. Yes my friends, this one really is an adventure!

As ever, this book is packed to the gills with fantastic characters, amazing wonders and enough umph to keep you thirsty through all 1059 pages! Quite possibly my favourite in the series so far.

There you have it chums, a handful of tales but a fair amount to add to the favourites pile! I'm currently battling another Dutch book and keeping myself distracted from this with Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes, which I just started! If you've time to kill do feel free to check out my previous book review posts, like this one including a serious tear jerker or this post featuring some of my favourite books ever! Until next time dearests!

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