[REVIEW] One Day by David Nicholls

Two very different people, Emma and Dexter spend just one day together after they graduate.  One Day tells the story of how they go through the rest of their lives in and out of the others’.  It is an emotional journey of their relationship, and how growing up changes a person.

Emma and Dexter were great main characters in that they had so many flaws, and at times I was so angry about their decisions, but I could not help but root for them throughout their whole story.  As the years went by, they evolved just like people do into different versions of themselves, but never losing the main trait that made them truly them.  These characters felt so real and never idealized, something that is very much appreciated.

One thing I loved about the writing in this novel is the way the thoughts flowed.  It felt as if you were actually thinking in time with the characters, instead of after the fact, something that is not easily done even when the writing is in present tense.  It also was reduced as they both got older, which felt very genuine to reality.  And, while it was very easy to put myself into the minds of Emma and Dexter, I also found myself as a sort of middle-man between the two.  I was so involved with their story, but I was at the same time an observer which I found interesting.

This tale is witty and it is heartbreaking, and it is one that makes you want to rip your hair out at times.  This novel has everything it needs to tell a beautiful story of the complexities and tribulations that lie in having and keeping relationships. It is equal parts bleak and hopeful, something I believe is very authentic to growing older.

Prepare to shed tears for these two characters and their story.

Rating:

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[REVIEW] The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

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Spoiler-free review:

“There’s something comforting about the sight of strangers safe at home.”

The novel follows the lives of three women. We have Rachel Watson, Megan Hipwell and Anna Watson . Rachel is an alcoholic, her marriage has failed and she’s living with her flatmate Cathy. She has no job but instead of admitting it to her roomate she rides the train to London every day. Whilst on the train, Rachel looks at the houses and the people in them and makes up stories about them. Until one day she gets intertwined in their lives and her stories become nothing more than just made-up stories but completely different. Rachel is lost, with her failed marriage and constanly drinking she finds nothing bright in life just bleakness and loneliness.

The person called ‘Jess’(In Rachel’s story) is actually Megan, who is really unhappy and not what Rachel describes her to be. Unlike Rachel, Megan is married to her husband Scott. She’s lying to her husband about going out with friends instead she’s seeing a therapist who soon becomes her lover.

Anna Watson is the third person we meet and get a glimpse of in this story and she happens to be Rachel’s ex-husband’s new wife. Anna and her husband have a daughter together called Evie. Anna is really cautious when it comes to Rachel, after all she ‘stole’ her husband.

“A tiding of magpies: One for sorrow, two for joy, three for a girl, four for a boy, five for silver, six for gold, seven for a secret never to be told”

Chapter by chapter we get deeper into the characters’ lives and find out more about them. I found this book a few days before it’s release date and the synopsis of the novel sounded so good that I had to pick it up. This is a really dark mystery/thriller novel. It deals with alcoholism, failed marriage and death. I loved Rachel as a character, yes she was unstable and depressed but she was also strong character. What I loved about her was the compassion she felt for ‘Jason and Jess’. Megan was a good character. I loved how she had twists and how at one minute you think she is happy and in the next you’re wrong. I loved how all the characters connected in the story. That for me was interesting, reading how Rachel’s made-up stories became something completely different and how she became a huge part of their lives. The only character I didn’t like that much was Anna. At some points she was annoying. I mean I do get that she has a baby and has to be a stay-at-home mom but she didn’t feel as real to me as Rachel and Megan.

Overall this novel was a fantastic thriller/mystery. I would definitely recommend this to fans of this genre and Gone Girl fans, you won’t regret reading this novel.

My rating for this novel is:

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(4 stars)

[REVIEW] All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

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The story of a boy called Finch and a girl named Violet . . .

Violet, who’s sister has died in a car accident, and Finch, who is obsessed with death, meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school and end up saving each other.  All The Bright Places is the story of how their lives come together, and the mark that death and mental illness leave on the lives of those who are around it.

This story is one that is so important, and I felt that it was dealt with so well. It was not this romanticized thing, but something that could be helped and needed to be helped.  The way it was portrayed, as this ruthless disease, was so real and it was heartbreaking.

The relationship between Violet and Finch was very organic, and reading about each from the other’s point of view, the way they grew on each other was very believable.  They were not dependent on each other, but were two separate people that helped each other grow.  The two separate point of views were also very well done, each voice coming through clearly each time.

Violet and Finch were strong characters, with an abundance of charming qualities as well as flaws.  Their flaws are what made them more relatable and believable.  I was amazed at how much I loved all the background characters.  Almost all of them were three dimensional and developed.  And the parental presence for each main character was so different, but so important in shaping their characters (something you don’t see often in YA).

There is also a Help Line Resource Guide included in the back of my hardcover copy.

Overall a heart wrenching and very authentic story that I could hardly put down.

Rating:

PINK STARPINK STARPINK STARPINK STAR

 

[REVIEW] Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

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Spoiler-free review:

,,Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet.’’

As the synopsis says, the story follows the Lee family who are grieving over the loss of a daughter/sister. We have: Lydia – who was found dead in a lake, Hannah – the youngest daughter of the Lee family, Nathan/Nath – who is the only son, Marilyn and James Lee.

Their family is a mixed race family and the story goes back to past and present. To the struggles of not being white and more. Each member of the family is deeply saddened about Lydia’s death. The characters are really well thought of. For example, we have Marilyn who is the mother of the three children. Her mother had always told her that a woman should cook, bake and take care of the children but Marilyn didn’t like her view of living a life. Marilyn wanted to become a doctor, to be something more than just a house-wife. Now I know that I said that this will be a spoiler-free review, so this may be a tiny spoiler. If you want to know the reason why Lydia is the favourite child look at the spoiler: [The reason why Lydia is Marilyn’s favourite child is because she didn’t succeed in her goal. When she left the family to continue her studies she was happy but the she started missing her family. When she found out that she was pregnant with the third child – Hannah, she had to get back to her family. Lydia promised if her mother gets back she will do whatever she says. Lydia wanted to please her mother so she began to read books about biology, to play doctor, to do math with her mother who ignored Nath.] How Ng wrote thorough characters, in my opinion, is really smart.

,,They never discussed it, but both came to understand it as a promise: he would always make sure there was a place for her. She would always be able to say, Someone is coming. I am not alone.”

This is a story about family, jealousy and life of a mixed race household in the 70’s. I couldn’t put this novel down. Even when I made breaks from reading I always thought about the characters and what will happen next. Now, I could talk about this book more but it would get spoilery so I won’t say more except for this:

This novel is very complex and smartly written. I loved and felt for all of the characters in the novel. Each and every one of them had layers and their own personality.

I would definitely recommend this book to people who enjoy Adult/Mystery genre.

My rating for this novel is:
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