Monday, 17 August 2015

Review: Golden Boy - Abigail Tarttelin

Hello! I am now reviewing the final Holiday Book, Holiday Book 8! This was Golden Boy by Abigail Tarttelin, the 'T' for my A-to-Z Challenge 2015.

20554067This book stressed me out. Like, so much. It was emotional, distressing, and horrifying all at once. It tells the story of Max, an intersex teenager who identifies as male, who, after being sexually assaulted, has to live through horrible tribulations. I was just in shock at this. What a situation to be in! I have never wanted to stab someone so much in my life as I did with the rapist. He is an absolutely abominable libertine and I despise him. And that just shows how good this book is, that I have these thoughts of brutal murder. What else but a good book could draw these emotions out of me?
This book is very important. I was rather ignorant myself to the plights and lives of intersex people before reading this; they aren't as publicised as the rest of the LGBTQIAP community. Considering some of the exasperating opinions I received when I talked about this book, it is important that more people read this and learn about it. 
I highly recommend this book! Do it! Now!

Thanks for reading! Like, comment, and follow, and until next time, goodbye!

Review: Dracula - Bram Stoker

Welcome back to my blog! Today I will be reviewing Holiday Book 7, a rather famous gothic novel, Dracula by Bram Stoker, the 'S' for my A-to-Z Challenge.

Ooh I just loved this! Not only is the cover absolutely brilliant, the story betwixt it follows suit. A chilling, sensual and exciting gothic tale which had me hooked from the very beginning.
I loved the format of the novel. It was written in the form of compiled letters and diary entries, using multiple perspectives and thus creating intrigue for the reader. The story is rather tragic as well, showing love and loss and all the raw emotions which are evoked by it. 
The one thing that did REALLY piss me off was the total dismissal of Madam Mina as a character by the males in the novel. Madam Mina was my favourite character, and she played such a massive role in the formation of the mystery, and then she is just swept aside by the sexist males. I know that this is obviously Victorian literature, but still... what was funny was how hard their plan to protect her backfired. But I shall not divulge for the sake of spoilers.
A brilliant novel! One I highly recommend, especially if you're interested in gothic literature. I was always spotting little details which played to the genre, and it made it all the more interesting to read!

Thanks for reading! Like, comment and follow, and until next time, au revoir!

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Review: The Plot Against America - Philip Roth

Hello! I am back with a review for Holiday Book 6, which is The Plot Against America by Philip Roth, the 'R' for my A-to-Z Challenge 2015.
This book is set in an alternate time when Roosevelt loses out to Lindbergh in the 1940 election under the mantra of "Vote for Lindbergh or Vote for War". Lindbergh promptly forms an agreement with Hitler and the other axis powers, taking them out of the possibility of joining World War II, but sending shockwaves of concern through the American Jewish community. As anti-semitism becomes more and more prominent and violent in America, Philip Roth tells how his family copes in the struggle to live in an America rapidly becoming fascist.
The premise was very interesting and also quite frightening. The idea of 'The Land of the Free' essentially allying itself with some of the worst fascist leaders of the 20th century and subsequently promoting and institutionalising anti-semitism makes for a thrilling and heart-wrenching read. Tragic and scary, Philip Roth writes eloquently and creates a historic chronology that is tangible and realistic; the perspective is masterful and fascinating. It deeply impressed me how Roth could twist world events and fashion a new timeline which could have happened just the same.
The only issue I really had with it was that the whole book was leading up to a climax that wasn't really that shocking. I was expecting something like the Holocaust to begin occurring from the way it was all foreshadowed and mongered by the characters. Although I did like the ending, I felt like something was missing there. Nonetheless, I commend Philip Roth for this novel.

Thank you for reading! Tell me your thoughts in the comments below! Like, comment and follow, and until next time, adios!

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

12/08/2015 - Top 5 Required Reading

Hello again! Today is Wednesday and is thus Top 5 Wednesday; the topic today is "Top 5 Required Reading", which is rather interesting. I've been forced to read a lot of books, some good, some bad and some ugly... today we shall celebrate the good, and they are as follows:

5. Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare - I really enjoyed this play when I read it in Year 9; it is humorous, dramatic and the best Shakespeare play that I have read.
4. Romeo & Juliet by William Shakespeare - Probably the most famous Shakespeare play today, and I can see why. It is a dramatic masterpiece, laced with humour and intriguing characters, such as my personal favourite, Mercutio.
3. The Woman in Black by Susan Hill - This was studied during our work on gothic literature. This is honestly one of the only books I have read that actually put me on edge; reading assignments that I procrastinated and ended up having to do late at night... not the best idea by me! It is really quite chilling (although I don't much like the ending, but that's besides the point), and I've been to see it on stage twice now.
2. Blood Brothers by Willy Russell - This musical/play is great. The characters were well developed, the storyline was interesting and emotionally raw and the ending is a shocker! If you ever get the chance, go see this in a theatre, it's a brilliant show!
1. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson - I really enjoyed this book when I studied it. As you probably all know well, I love classics, and this is a fantastic Victorian novel! Mysterious, chilling and exciting, it is most definitely worth the read!

Thank you for reading! If you had to read any of these, tell me in the comments if you enjoyed them or not! I would be interested to read your views. Like, comment and follow, and until next time, goodbye!

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

11/08/2015 - Top 10 Authors I've Read The Most

Hello, once again! It is Tuesday, which means it is time for another Top 10 Tuesday; today's topic is 'Top 10 Authors I've Read The Most' - this is quite hard for me, as I tend to read a wide variety of authors, but I think I find some authors who stand out, many of whom were probably read as a child. Alas, let us commence:
10. William Shakespeare - Much Ado About Nothing, Romeo & Juliet and Macbeth
9. Darren Shan - The Demonata Series and Cirque du Freak
8. Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games Trilogy
7. Ben Elton - Past Mortem and Dead Famous
6. John Green - The Fault in Our Stars and Paper Towns
5. George Orwell - Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm
4. John Steinbeck - Of Mice and Men and The Grapes of Wrath
3. Joseph Delaney - The Spooks Series
2. Wilkie Collins - The Woman in White and The Moonstone
1. Bret Easton Ellis - Less Than Zero, The Rules of Attraction, American Psycho, The Informers, Glamorama, Lunar Park and Imperial Bedrooms 

I read a lot of Bret Easton Ellis... like, a lot. So, that was my Top 10! Have you read any of these authors (I suspect yes if anyone took English ever)? Tell me what you think below! Like, comment and follow, and until next time, see ya!

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Review: Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock - Matthew Quick

Welcome back my lovelies. This is a review for Holiday Book 5, Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick, which was my 'Q' for my A-to-Z Challenge 2015. My sister, Kristi, was absolutely raving Matthew Quick's existence ever since reading Silver Linings: Playbook, but she refused to lend me her copy of it to take on holiday because it was the Ring to her Gollum, so I went to the library hoping to find it there. Of course, that was the ONLY Matthew Quick book not on the shelves, so I took out this one instead. It turns out Silver Linings: Playbook had been taken off the shelves because it was dead stock (?!) so I bought it today in the book sale. I am ever more excited to read that book now that I have read Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock and rated it so highly.
This book was magnificent. I very much enjoyed the way Leonard narrated as it really developed his character through his thoughts and anecdotal stories. It was also very poignant and heart-wrenching. Leonard is a rather unpopular boy who is going to kill himself and take Asher Beal, his former best friend and resident school bully, with him. But first, he must deliver presents to his four eclectic friends so he can go out with a bang on his 18th birthday. The stories behind these friendships are drip fed to the reader throughout the story through the viewpoint of Leonard, adding a personal touch. There is an undercurrent of dread as we wait for the suicide of the main character, Leonard, which is foreshadowed almost assuredly; this book is in every way tragic and moving, and compulsively readable. You'll be sucked in from the very first word!

Thank you for reading! Like, comment and follow, and until next time, auf wiedersehen!

Review: The Bees - Laline Paull

Hello my dearly beloved readers. I am back AGAIN! This is Holiday Book 4: The Bees by Laline Paull, which is my 'P' for my A-to-Z Challenge 2015. I have to be honest here, I didn't have high expectations for this book. I had bought it because I had wanted to buy The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins and you needed an order of over £10 for free delivery, and this was apparently being raved about, so I bought this to supplement it. It has been sitting on my book shelf for ages. Thank God for the A-to-Z Challenge, for without it, I wouldn't have been forced to read it and enjoy it as much as I did! It was really fantastic: it was almost like a 1984/Brave New World hybrid... except with bees! What is there not to love, really? Also, I'm in love with the cover: the inside cover is black, and it's just overall pretty and I enjoy it immensely.
It is set in the totalitarian society of a bee hive and begins with the 'birthing' of Flora 717. She is born into the lowest kin in the society who work sanitation, but she is different. She can speak and has other abilities which mean she is spared from eugenic cleansing so she can be of use to the hive. She lives through the trials and tribulations of life in the hive, from wasp invasions to religious slaughters. But when she breaks the golden rule 'ONLY THE QUEEN MAY BREED', the path becomes ever more rocky for her in this epic tale of aroma, control and triumph.
I really enjoyed the way the author displayed Flora's internal struggle between serving her hive and her Queen and nurturing her potent maternal instincts. I also found the parallelism and ultimately criticism to human life and its impact on the environment very interesting and thought-provoking. I never thought I would have such sympathy towards flying insects, but Laline Paull brought that out in me. And considering I was on holiday while reading this, where the flying insects are a-plenty, I had these very perverse feelings of care and concern for them. What was weirdest of all was that I seemed to relate to their plight for food, because that is me all the time too. I get you, flying insects!
Overall, I would recommend this book. I don't think I found it dull at any point, and I gave it 4 stars!

Thank you for reading! Feel free to create a buzz in the comments! (I'm so lame, I apologise for that). Like, comment and follow, and until next time, au revoir!