[Book Review] We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver

we need to talk about Kevin.jpgWe Need To Talk About Kevin is on the surface a gut-wrenching story about Kevin who kills 9 people in a school shooting. On a deeper level, the novel is about a mother’s love and if a mother’s love can influence a person’s upbringing.

I went into reading this novel with my eyes open, I knew it was going to be a tough read, but even as I finished the novel, the novel continued to display it’s perplexities and harshness.

The novel follows a sequence of letters from Eva to her husband Franklin as she recounts Kevin’s childhood to the present. The novel is a mammoth tale, starting from how it all began, from Eva’s and Kevin’s shaky start as he is born, to moments throughout his childhood that leave the reader questioning.

This novel for me left me feeling that it was perhaps a little too real. The novel is psychologically stimulating, as we question with Eva whether Kevin could have done that, or if Eva had been a different kind of mother would Kevin had still continued on the path he chose. The novel is interesting in the way it makes you question everything, Eva is always so certain of the things that Kevin has done, and despite not ever mentioning Kevin’s mental health, it does leave you questioning. Kevin is distant, he dissociates, and from Eva’s retellings comes across as if everything is an act.

But, how much of this is Eva? We rely on Eva to tell Kevin’s story, and how do we, as the reader, know that we are not being influenced by Eva’s experiences?

Overall, I enjoyed reading this novel. I found myself questioning everything at every turn, wondering if Kevin had done what Eva thought. Lionel Shriver has written a poignant story of a mother’s love, and how far would a mother go for her child, and questions a person’s reaction and how they place blame on others.

It is definitely a book I would recommend, and one that I will perhaps read more than once, as I’m sure throughout my reading, I have potentially missed quite a lot of nuances that are waiting to be picked up.

Have you read We Need To Talk About Kevin? Let me know in the comments!

[Book Club] Second Week!

It’s the second week of this month’s book club!

How is everyone doing? I’ve actually managed to finish one book on the list, and I might pick up another. The review is set up and scheduled ready to go on the 31st.

I hope everyone else is having as much fun with this month’s list as I am. Let’s make January that awesome reading month!

If you haven’t started on a book, but would like to, you can find our list for this month here. We’re themeless this month!

[Book Club] First Week!

Wow, the first week is already over! How quick is that going?

How are you finding your chosen book? I’ve gone with Milkman by Anna Burns, and it’s so intriguing so far. I’m really enjoying the stylistic choices that have gone into it so far.

What have you chosen to read? If you haven’t yet, there’s still time to choose and get stuck into a good book. You can find this months books here!

Happy Reading, everyone!

Happy New Year!

Let me preemptively wish everyone a Happy New Year! We’re heading into a new year, and this leads to a new chapter and a new challenge.

As I have now completed my studies (or hello, TEFL Course!), I’m going to put a little more effort into my reading. I want to be better read, and a better reviewer.

So, I’m setting myself a few challenges, of which you are welcome to join!

The first challenge:

Book Riot posted their annual Read Harder Challenge, I will be attempting this challenge throughout 2019. I’ll try and separate Book Club from Book Challenge, but some crossing’s over may happen.

I’m also setting myself a goal of reading 50 books this year. This may not seem like a lot to some of you avid readers out there, but considering I only read some 21 books this year, this is going to be a challenge for me. I used to read all the time, and I love reading, but I’ve been so snowed under with reading for courses, that reading for pleasure has slipped to the wayside and reading books quickly is not a thing I am currently able to do.

Now that we’ve got the challenges out of the way, let’s see some stats!

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This blog has managed to get 1,032 views from 554 visitors with 499 likes and 47 comments. How awesome is that?

My top blog post was:

My Book Review on Teresa Driscoll’s I Am Watching You!

This review earned 71 views! How exciting!

Hopefully, 2019 will be just as exciting a year as 2018 will be. Though, with 50 books to read, I can already see me madly trying to catch up as the year progresses. Hopefully you’ll all like to stick around and see how it goes!

Happy New Year, everyone!

[Book Discussion] The Christmas Forest by Rebecca Boxall

the christmas forest

The Christmas Forest by Rebecca Boxall is a Christmas tale of love and friendship. Enid has Asperger’s Syndrome and has been talking via letter to a man called Fred.

The story focuses around Enid planning a trip to Australia to finally meet Fred for Christmas, supported by her sister Bess. But will it happen? That is the big question that hangs for a large part of the novel. Enid’s friends are unsure, Enid is sure, Fred is sure, but who will win out?

Despite the short nature of the novel, The Christmas Forest is a pleasantly good read. The plot moves fast enough to keep you interested, and Rebecca Boxall writes wonderfully. Asperger’s Syndrome does take a centre role in this novel, and Boxall handles it with care and it is well researched.

The narrative is sweet, and is definitely one I would recommend for the Christmas season.

It is interesting to note that Boxall has written Enid with Asperger’s, as a lot of research shows that it Asperger’s is usually diagnosed in males. Boxall is bringing to the forefront women with Asperger’s and allows the reader to submerge in Enid’s plight and characteristics.

All in all, I would definitely recommend The Christmas Forest. What did you think? Have you read it?

Let me know what you thought in the comments!

[Book Club] January Reading!

I hope everyone is excited for the new year and a new month!

This month, there was no theme, and as such our book choices for next month are:

I hope you all like the choices and find one that you would like to pick up! I’m excited for a new month of reading.

My Top 17 Reads of the Year

Ironically, I’ve only managed to finish 17 books this year (I’m discounting all books related to my MA which I’ve read this year), and this is how I would place them in terms of favourite. Most of these weren’t published this year, but I hope you enjoy it either way!

17) Red Phoenix by Larry Bond

16) Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman

15) I Am Watching You by Teresa Driscoll

14) The Christmas Forest by Rebecca Boxall

13) That’s Not What Happened by Kody Keplinger

12) And The Ocean Was Our Sky by Patrick Ness

11) Whistle in the Dark by Emma Healey

10) The Shining by Stephen King

9) Born Lippy: How To Do Female by Jo Brand

8) The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

7) The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

6) Release by Patrick Ness

5) The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

4) 1984 by George Orwell

3) House Of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

2) Becoming by Michelle Obama

1) The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa

 

This was potentially the hardest list I’ve done this year, it was so hard to choose and I moved a few of them around a lot! It was especially difficult between 2 and 1, but The Travelling Cat Chronicles was an amazing novel, and it really touched me and a book I still think about today. Becoming is an equally amazing memoir, and I love Michelle Obama. The choice was so hard!

What’s your favourite books that you’ve read this year? Let me know in the comments!