Blog, Books

3 books, 3 points: Autumn 2018

Hello everyone, hope you are having a wonderful festive season if you’re celebrating 🙂

I’ve managed to get a bit behind on my book reviews recently. Not because I haven’t read many books (I’ve been reading like a good’un) but in between finishing up university, figuring out what to do next and getting ready for the yule season, I’ve found it hard to sit down and write really. Instead of forcing it, I find sometimes it’s better to just wait until my mojo reappears. So, I’ve condensed November and December into an ‘autumn’ review post!

I think in 2019, my book reviews might take a different format. I still enjoy the ‘three points’ format, it’s a bit different to other reviews… but I’m reading more than three books each month! So I might do a longer post, every two months or so. What do you think?

For now though, here are the three books for autumn!

The Last, by Hanna Jameson** (due for publication 31st January 2019)

The Last is a gripping story, following the actions of a group of hotel guests after nuclear explosions wipe out major cities across the world. We follow Jon Keller as he records the following events day by day, documenting his interactions with the other hotel guests and his thought processes as he, and the other guests, try to come to terms with their situation.

-I loved this book, devouring it in a single session. It swung me from one place to another in terms of events and how they are described through Jon’s eyes. Should I be supporting Jon? Is everything really what it seems? How is his health, is he telling the truth? All these questions flickered around my brain with every page turn. I was gripped.

-Jameson builds a sense of unease and suspicion quietly but effectively throughout the book. On finding the body of a girl in one of the rooftop water tanks, Jon tasks himself with finding the culprit. We are taken deep into Jon’s mind as paranoia begins to spread throughout the hotel. Along with tough decisions on justice, dangerous missions to find food, and complex group dynamics, I found myself trying to think what I would do in this situation. The premise isn’t that far-fetched – what would happen if just one world leader launched a nuclear attack? We have the capability for this situation to happen – this made it all the more interesting to see how I reacted to the decisions made by the group.

-I was so interested in the actions of the group as a whole, and each individual within that group. I found myself curious about how the book took the perceived isolation of a small group and how that inward-looking thinking resulted in each action, and affected each person. Jameson takes us into that world, and I found myself affected by the reality the group had created, making more of an impact on me as the story unfolded.
Shocking, intriguing and rawly human. I wholeheartedly recommend this book.

The Strange Casebook**, by Syd Moore 

-A fantastic book full of short stories with a creepy undertone. A perfect book

to dip into on a dark autumnal evening, but not so scary that you have to leave the lights on!

-Dipping into the world of the Essex Witch Museum via these tales of supernatural occurrences and strange characters, I find myself wanting to find out more and will definitely be looking further into this area! This book is a great taster of a world not quite our own, where folklore comes to life in six short tales. I enjoyed all of the tales, a particular favourite being She Saw Three Ships, a telling of disconcerting events over the course of the Feast of All Angels.

-I loved this book, but found myself wishing it was longer – although it was a perfect taster to make me want to discover more in the future.

The Flower Girls, by Alice Clark-Platts** (Published 24th Jan 2019)

-The Flower Girls tells the story of sisters Laurel and Primrose (Rosie), who hit headlines in their childhood for a chilling reason – one was convicted of murder, whilst the other was too young to stand trial, deemed innocent and given a new identity. Years later, we meet Rosie in her new identity as Hazel. On holiday when a young girl disappears, Hazel finds the events of the past beginning to haunt her once more.

-This book is full of twists and turns. The characters are vividly painted, but still leave you questioning your view of them. As each person developed I found myself thrown from rooting for particular characters to disliking them, to being shocked, saddened, and everything in between. Although there are one or two obvious red herrings thrown into the mix, the overall story really involved me emotionally. Although I had an inkling of how the story would turn out, I never saw the whole thing and I was reeling by the end. A story that sucked me in with twists and turns and made me hunger for a sequel.

-The Flower Girls raises many questions around a highly emotive subject. We can see similarities to real life events, such as the murder of Jamie Bulger, and how cases are dealt with in the press for both the victim, the offender, and their families. The flashbacks, slowly uncovering the events of the young girls at the time of the murder, raised issues of influence, mental illness, family dynamics and age restrictions of trials, as well as rehabilitation, incarceration and the long-term, devastating impact the death of a young child has on the victim’s family and friends. An important book.

*This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you make a purchase through clicking on one of the links to Wordery, I’ll receive a small commission. Why Wordery? I chose to become a Wordery affiliate because: they support charities that help to improve literacy; they are a small team of book lovers; they pay UK taxes; they’re not Amazon. You can find out more about Wordery here.

**I am a member of NetGalley, where I received this review copy for free.

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