Matthew Quick’s Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock

13477676Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock is a young adult novel based around the titular character of Leonard. He decides to kill his former best friend and then himself on his eighteenth birthday. This book is the story of that day.

I think I’ll always remember this novel for being present during such a tough time in my life, hence why it took me a month (!!!) to actually read it. I started it one day, and then didn’t pick it (or any book) up again until four weeks later when I was at work and thinking about how much things had changed.

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Jennifer Brown’s Perfect Escape

Review – Perfect Escape by Jennifer Brown

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 The only way Kendra can stand out next to her brother Grayson (suffering from OCD) is to be perfect, and she has perfection down to an art — until a school scandal threatens her flawless reputation. Behind the wheel of her car, with Grayson asleep beside her, Kendra decides to drive away from it all — maybe with enough distance she’ll be able to figure everything out.

Perfect Escape is the story of what happens when all of a sudden, everything becomes too much and driving away seems to be the only option. Kendra has been caught in the midst of a cheating scandal which threatens her college future. Her older brother Grayson suffers from debilitating OCD. He’s just released from his last stint in hospital when the book starts.

I love Jennifer Brown; I think her novels are all very well done, especially Hate List. I loved the premise of this, and it didn’t disappoint too much. Brown writes Grayson’s OCD with a realistic style that can only be applauded. Kendra’s feelings towards her brother are ever-changing but I think that’s fitting to the story itself – everything is changing around the siblings.

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Lauren Oliver’s Requiem

Review – Requiem by Lauren Oliver

requiemThe story of Lena Holloway who was 95 days away from being cured and looking forward to it until she meets the mysterious and sweet Alex unfolds through Delirium, Pandemonium and ends in Requiem.

Requiem is the final book in the Delirium series, a trilogy about a future where love is illegal. Lena, Julian and Alex are three of a large group of Invalids, people who have not taken the cure for love and live beyond the fences of civilization.

The book is split into two perspectives: Lena and Hana, Lena’s best friend from her days as a law-abiding citizen. This can be annoying, as with Pandemonium, but it’s just something that you have to get used to. Here, it’s more fitting. As the resistance builds, it’s interesting to learn about those on both sides of the fence and particularly a character that we know of in some depth already.

Requiem could very easily have descended into a book completely about a love triangle. Fortunately, it’s not like that. I really admire the way Lauren Oliver keeps the romance subdued in this instalment. There are bigger things to deal with and I’m glad that they are the focus.

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Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl

Review – Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

gone girl

High-vis jacket, anyone?!

Who are you? What have we done to each other?

Oh gosh, this book. I’m not sure there are sufficient words to describe how fantastic it is without spoiling it.

Gone Girl is Amy and Nick Dunne’s story. On the morning of their fifth anniversary, Nick returns to the house to find the front door wide open, the iron still on and signs of a struggle. Furthermore, his wife has disappeared. However, suspicions soon turn on Nick and from here, the book is constantly full of energy and drama.

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Nick Hornby’s ‘A Long Way Down’

9780670888245Review  –  A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby

Four people meet on New Year’s Eve and form a surrogate family to help one another weather the difficulties of their lives.

A Long Way Down is the story of Jess, JJ, Maureen and Martin. All from totally different walks of life, they meet at the top of a tall building on New Year’s Eve. Why? Because they all want to jump off.

I understand what you’re thinking: ‘How can anyone possibly sit through 350 pages of not one, but four suicidal characters?’ Trust me, I was a little apprehensive too. But here I am, 350 pages later. For a book with a very serious main idea, it’s not like a PSA or a book of motivation for those in need. Hornby manages to create a very strong cast of characters, people who are real and very different from one another. Continue reading

Madeline Miller’s ‘The Song Of Achilles’

Review  – The Song Of Achilles by Madeline Miller

the song of achillesAchilles, “best of all the Greeks,” is everything Patroclus is not—strong, beautiful, the child of a goddess—and by all rights their paths should never cross. Yet one day, Achilles takes the shamed prince under his wing and soon their tentative friendship gives way to a lifelong bond.

First, a keyboard smash to express my feelings about this book…

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Right, done.

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The King’s Speech

Review – The King’s Speech (2010)

Based on the true story of King George VI’s relationship with an unorthodox speech therapist.

the king's speech

Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter lead the cast of a movie about the late King George VI’s lifelong stammer and his tireless endeavors to speak. Guy Pearce plays the irritating older brother, the perfect candidate for King, until his relationship with a twice divorced woman comes to light; he abdicates, leaving the throne to ‘Bertie’, a man who is crippled by his inability to talk.

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