[Book Review] Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

 

eleanor oliphantEleanor Oliphant is 30 years old, and she has fallen in love. With the front man of a band.

This is the beginning of what turns out to be a very poignant story about finding friends, exploring yourself and dealing with the past. Eleanor is at first viewed as an outsider, someone who nobody talks to and nobody wants to talk to, until she meets Raymond and they begin to form a friendship.

If I’m being very honest, I did not like the book at first. I’d seen all the hype and honestly began to wonder what all the fuss was about, but something made me want to keep going.

This was my slow descent into exploring Eleanor and her life. I’m now glad to say I stuck with it until the end, as it won me over. I felt for a while that I would stick with second-lead syndrome and Raymond would be the most likeable character, but then Eleanor began to unravel, and I began to really like the way she spoke and the way she viewed the world. She challenged my own view of the world, and the way she approaches life.

Overall, I rather enjoyed Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine. Honeyman writes simply, but effectively, and definitely knows how to draw the reader in. My advice to the new reader would be, if you’re only just starting out and not enjoying, definitely stick with it. It’s definitely worth it to get to the end and discover that the pay-off is worth it.

Or at least it had been for me.

Have you read Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine? Let me know in the comments what you thought!

[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!

[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.

[Book Club] January Suggestions!

January signifies the start of the New Year. It is the chance to explore something new.

Do you have a new release you’re dying to read? Is there a book you’ve always wanted to dig into but never had the chance?

Leave your suggestion in a comment and it could be the book we’re reading in January.

I think we’ll go themeless this month and see where the tide takes us. Does that sound good with everyone?