2018 Reads #2

If you read in my last 2018 reads blog post, I decided to switch up the way I presented my latest reads. Instead of feeling the pressure of reading and writing on a monthly basis I decided to read 3/4 books then chat about them, giving you a short review of what I thought about them. I enjoy reading book reviews myself and people often tell me my posts add another book to their to be read list, happy days! 

So I've dug into very different genres this time around and you'll see I wasn't that thrilled by what I have read this time around. However, I'll leave you with these 4 short reviews and continue to dig into my latest read with a cuppa! 

Turtles All The Way Down by John Green | ☆☆☆

In his long-awaited return, John Green, the acclaimed, award-winning author of Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars, shares Aza’s story with shattering, unflinching clarity in this brilliant novel of love, resilience, and the power of lifelong friendship.

I have always been a fan of John Green books so was ecstatic last year when I heard he was releasing a new one, Turtles All The Way Down. If I'm honest I didn't enjoy this book as much as I did the rest. I found it incredibly hard to get stuck into the story and connect with the characters. However, I thought the story presented a well thought out look at mental health that shows that mental health doesn't just affect the person suffering. Mental Health is quite a difficult topic to present without being like other books I've read but I felt John Green did it well.

The story is about Aza, a teenage girl who is dealing with spiraling thoughts that are out of her control entirely. It's a great portrayal of anxiety and I could relate to it well, as I suffer from anxiety myself. There's also Davies, a boy born into a luxurious life but his father has gone missing. The main figurehead in his home means that he is under pressure to be a good influence for his 13-year-old brother. There feels to be a lot of stuff happening, it has a decent conclusion but I just didn't connect to it as much as I had hoped I would be as an avid John Green fan.

The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck by Sarah Knight | ☆☆

Are you stressed out, overbooked, and underwhelmed by life? Fed up with pleasing everyone else before you please yourself? It's time to stop giving a f*ck.

Do you ever see those books on Instagram and read such a hype over them that you then feel as though it has to be the next book you get your mitts on? Fortunately, I won the collection of Sarah Knight's books in a giveaway so it was finally time I got stuck into the first being The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck.I'm going to be honest, I just didn't enjoy the book.

The book focuses on focusing on areas of your life and where you need to give a f*** and where you don't. It focuses on areas such as relationships, work and career etc with the scope of being quite an interesting read if you need a kick up the butt to get your life into shape. I just found it quite repetitive and some areas completely unrealistic in my own eyes. A lot of the discussion was also irrelevant to me and stuff I had figured out towards the end of my teenage years. I still have the other two books to read so I'm going to see whether one of those applies to me more, we'll see..

How To Be Human: The Manual by Ruby Wax | ☆☆

I wrote this book with a little help from a monk, who explains how the mind works, and also gives some mindfulness exercises, and a neuroscientist who explains what makes us 'us' in the brain. We answer every question you've ever had about: evolution, thoughts, emotions, the body, addictions, relationships, kids, the future, and compassion.

I read one of the other books written by Ruby Wax last year so was intrigued to see what this latest release had to offer. The book covered 12 different subjects, with really interesting in-depth discussions around them. The shift between Ruby, the monk, and neuroscientist discussing these discussions from their opinion was really interesting. There was definitely an essence of humor in Ruby's writing that went sat well within the serious context and was sensitivity to some of the things discussed. However, by chapter 11 I lost complete interest in the book and didn't want to finish it. I reckon if I came back to it when I needed to read this kind of book for some advice, I would engage with it far better than I did. 

Last Seen by Lucy Clarke | ☆☆

In a small seaside community, there's always somebody watching.. 

I haven't grabbed a thriller book to read in a while so was intrigued by the blurb for this after finding it on NetGalley (a great platform for fellow bookworms! I have such a long TBR list since signing up to this!). The story is centered around an event that happened seven years ago. Two boys went missing at sea, but only one of them was brought to shore. The Sandback is a remote coastal area that is dotted with beach huts, the events that happened have scarred this area forever. Sarah's son survived, but he disappears on the anniversary of the accident. Loads of new secrets will surface, tension will grow and there will be many questions left unanswered. 

There's a great movement between Sarah's character and Isla, I liked how Clarke used their individual stories to work together on this one plot. The book most definitely kept me on my toes and packed so many twists and turns that I didn't expect from the beginning whatsoever. I definitely engaged with this story a lot, Sarah's character was particularly interesting, especially as she wasn't what she seemed. I would definitely recommend this book if you enjoy a good thriller read!

What have you been reading recently?
If you enjoyed reading this post and would like to see what else I have been reading my 2018 Reads #1 post is a great place to start. 

20 comments

  1. Last seen sounds right up my street. If you like reading thriller you’ll love the fear by cl Taylor. I couldn’t put it down!

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    1. Oh Last Seen is definitely up your street Kirsty, you'd enjoy it! :D I'll have to put that book you mention on my list! xx

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  2. I've been really intrigued by the Sarah Knight books as I've seen them everywhere, but I've also worried they just might not be relevant to me.
    I've recently finished Caraval and it was incredible. Highly recommend if you haven't read it yet.

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    1. I was intrigued by them but I just didn't find this one was relevant for me. I am going to try the other two in the series and see if I enjoy any of them a bit better xx

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  3. Ahh, such a shame you didn't love the Sarah Knight book - I've not read them yet but have heard SO many people rave about them (I usually leave those books a few months before jumping on the hype straight away!). I am really into thrillers at the moment - I've just downloaded Fiona Barton's latest novel for 99p on Kindle! Loved The Widow so looking forward to this one. Fingers crossed you find some gripping reads over the next few months!

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    1. Oh lovely - there's some great offers on Kindle! I use NetGalley for my kindle, you can request new releases and books before they're released and then review them for the publishers, it's great! xx

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  4. Last Seen sounds like just my kind of book. I recently finished reading The Couple Next Door (I know, I'm really late to that one) and I've just started He Said / She Said.

    Rhi | www.rinkydinkyrhi.com

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    1. You'd really like Last Seen if you enjoy thriller type books, it's so good! Oh the Couple Next Door is great, hope you enjoyed it! Sometimes waiting until the hype has died down is just as good! xx

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  5. I've heard such good things about the Sarah Knight book, so it's a shame you didn't love it! I suppose you can't please everyone though! I recently read Lisa Genova's Left Neglected and it was AMAZING! So I would recommend that if you're looking for new books to read :) Amy @ www.amybucklesbookshelf.co.uk

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    1. Oh I'll definitely add Lisa Genova's book to my list. I just didn't like it but I think it's kinda good to share what I thought about it, even if it is quite negative! xx

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  6. I agree! I give bad reviews sometimes, but I think it’s always better to be honest ☺️ Xx

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    1. Yeah definitely, I'm just definitely finding that a lot of the books so hyped over are the books I least like at the moment. x

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  7. I was just thinking that there's nothing worse than reading a load of underwhelming books at once, so I'm glad you really enjoyed one on there! I'm currently reading The Last Mrs Parrish by Liv Constantine, and I've really been enjoying it so far. It's not something I would normally pick up, but I'm reading it for a book club.

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    1. Yeah me too, I'm glad I liked one of them! I think it's good to read something different, I try to do more of that. I even found a history type book at the library that I'll definitely be reading soon! :) xx

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  8. Oh wow, Sarah Knight's book was on my list to read. Think I'll take it off, hate books that have a huge hype and then disappoint. x

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    1. I have heard others loved the book but for me it didn't live up to the hype! :) xx

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  9. Definitely going to add Last Seen to my TBR pile, I love a good thriller! I was also planning to pick up Ruby Wax's new book, but don't think I'll be in any rush to after this review. It's a shame when books you were looking forward to turn out to be duds :( x www.aimeeraindropwrites.co.uk x

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    1. Last Seen is great - I have so many thrillers on my Kindle! I really need to give it a clearout because there's loads I don't have interest in reading now. Yeah I know I was disappointed but at least the thriller one didn't let me down x

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  10. Oo Last Seen sounds right up my street! Ahhh oh my gosh I COMPLETELY agree about TLCMONGAF - everyone went crazy for it and I was given it by a friend (which was really generous and thoughtful) but I was so disappointed, I couldn't get through it. It was so overhyped and I just really didn't enjoy it. If you enjoy thrillers, try Mark Edwards' books :)
    Hels xx
    www.thehelsproject.com

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    1. If you enjoy thriller's then this one is great tbh! Yeah I think it's overhyped, I've got the other 2 to read so I'm hoping one of those better applies to me. We'll soon find out :) xx

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