Reviews – The good and the bad over recent years

Reviews – The good and the bad over recent years

I thought I would discuss some of my favourite books and authors and some that just didn’t hit the mark. It’s something I will be keeping up with in future posts. Due to this being the first, some of these books I’ve not read for a long time, never the less, they still deserve a place on the list.

WARNING, there may be spoilers. I have done my best to keep my opinions and comments about each book quite vague in terms of the nitty-gritty details of the stories but some spoilers are unavoidable as a part of the context.

Christina Henry
If you enjoy dark storylines, gruesome discoveries and stories that delve into the rabbit hole of mentality and the perspectives of the ‘villains’ then you will love Christina Henry’s works.

Alice–  Alice in Wonderland is my all time favourite story which started in childhood. My obsession hasn’t lifted and I even now have a tattoo so when I spotted Christina’s Henry’s Dark Version of the childhood story I didn’t hesitate in buying and delving into the pages and I’m so pleased to say that it went above and beyond my expectations.

The dark themes within grasped me from the first page. Alice’s struggle with her mentality and the cruel darkness of the world and the people in it make this an amazingly addictive read. I have read this one and the second and loved both dearly but the first book definitely left more of a mark.

It certainly gives a very real insight into what it’s like dealing with mental health issues and how strong-willed people can be in the direst situations. Christina Henry’s writing style is creative, diverse and addictive.

Lost Boy – Another wonderful read by Christina Henry is the ‘Lost Boy’ another dark tale but this time of Peter Pan and the disturbed mind of a child who wants young boys to stay on his island and play with him. This kid is less young and innocent and more sadistic and memorable which makes the twists and turns all the more satisfying.

I love the calm, strong and loving nature of the main character and his connection to Charlie and the need to look after him. As the story progresses you really get a good feel for what it would be like on the island and how doubtful the boys can be of Peter. It’s interesting to see the roles played and makes for a wonderful character development and a surprisingly sad ending.

I’m very excited to get hold of some of Christina Henry’s other books. I love her dark side and she is a big inspiration for me as a writer.

Veronica Roth – The Divergent Series
So, by now you probably know about the Divergent films and may have read them yourself so it’s probably no surprise to see it on the list and because of that, I’m not going into too much detail as you probably already know everything I have to say. Unfortunately ‘Divergent’ got a little hidden by the prevalence of ‘The Hunger Games’ which I also like greatly but I’ve honestly always preferred Divergent in comparison. I watched the films before reading the books and in a way, I’m pleased I did it this way round.

It was nice to read about the things the films missed out, all the little extras that make you love the story and the characters all the more. The storyline is explained well which makes it a great book for the younger generation but its still a great read for the old folk. It’s gripping, romantic and an overall action-packed series that only gets better the more times you read it.  It’s a good go-to book when you’re struggling for something to read.

Carole Mathews
Carole Mathews is a well known, successful author with plenty of books under her belt now. Generally, they have a romantic comedy theme that she is so good at writing and makes it seem so easy. They make a great, fun and stress relieving read that is easy to get into and enjoy throughout.

The Only Way Is Up – Carole Mathews has a huge range of lovingly crafted reads full of humour, heartbreak, and romance. ‘The Only Way Is Up’ is one of those stories that snippets of has stuck in my head and I will randomly think about when going about my everyday life. The storyline follows a woman who hits rock bottom and loses everything. They had money, a house, anything you could ever wish but then they lose it all and have to move into a derelict house in a rough area.

It will make you think a lot. It will make you question your own life but gives you a lot of positive vibes in the process. Its fun loving and a great uplifting book. The power of seeing someone pulling themselves up from rock bottom makes for a very impressive read that will make you consider what’s important.I love the character developments, their habits, flaws, inner turmoils and all the fun-loving comedy in their lives.

A Compromising Position – This is the first book by ‘Carole Mathews’ that I read. It’s the one that made me love her writing and books for a good go-to heartthrob. It’s not as strong of a storyline as ‘The Only Way Is Up’ but it’s an older book so her style as a writer has likely adapted, changed and developed over the years. No matter though, it’s still a book I find myself reaching for every now and then.

Emily’s story about her boyfriend posting pictures of her in the nude online is one of both shock and believability. You feel sympathy for her character from the beginning and with the help of her friend you get to see how amazing her strength is. It’s an amazing character development that often has me laughing out loud.

Ransom Riggs – Tales of the peculiar
This book was bought for me as a gift and I’m so glad it was. It’s become a book I’m very fond of and will go back to again and again. This book takes the form of Riggs giving his versions of Fairytales he’s created. The format is wonderful and very creative. They’re such easy, yet addictive reads.

Whether it’s Wealthy cannibals who dine on the discarded limbs of peculiars or the story of A fork-tongued princess. Each story is completely different to the other but many hold dark elements that can be gruesome, scary and mysterious all in the space of a paragraph. His writing style is invoking of your worst nightmares. Fun, inspirational, creative. Its all most like reading a book version of Black Mirror with all of the darkness and unexpected twists. It’s amazing and worth picking up if not just for the amazing style of the front cover itself.

Eoin Colfer – Artemis Fowl
The first book is by far my favourite in the series but they’re all amazing. A criminal mastermind named Artemis, Butler his companion and bodyguard, Holly the Elf they kidnap for gold. The storyline is amazing and each book offers something unexpected.

The descriptive nature of technology, the mysterious nature of the ‘Fairy Police’ and the characters natures make this an adorning read that you will want to share with others.

There are touching elements throughout that remind you that Artemis is indeed a child such as the story behind his mother’s wary sanity and his missing father which only adds to his development and just loyalty to his character and the plot entwined in the pages.

Meg Cabot – Avalon High
Now, this book is definitely aimed at teens but I think its one of the few books I read as a teen and have continued to read again and again through my life. I know what happens in each story and much like my love for Shrek or Friends, I can probably spout off many phrases and sentences from the pages. But do I love it any less? Nope.

It’s a romantic teen fantasy that follows the life of Elle Harrison after her move with her parents to Annapolis. There she meets a boy and his friends and soon things start to go wrong and take a somewhat darker turn. From the romantic scene in the Park to the heroic nature of Will and demonic nature of his brother. There are plenty of characters to love, some to hate and others to loathe and wish you were more like. It’s definitely a feel good, happy book that is a quick and pleasant read.

Sarah Morgan – Angels in the Snow
I loved the romantic scenes, the not so shiny hero in armour and the harrowing lady in need of help. I loved all those vibes. Unfortunately, I just lost love for it whenever the roles were changed and the first person camera was switched from Stella to Daniel consistently throughout. I kept getting a little lost and found less commitment from the Author in Daniel’s role. It was never as in-depth or as descriptive in my mind. I thought it would have been perfect without the Daniel side of things as I was so in love with Stella’s viewpoint and her character development as a whole.

Fay Keenan – The Second Chance Tea ShopHeartbreak at the beginning with Anna losing her husband, I felt for her character straight away and really wanted her to be happy. Equally so I loved the development of her relationship with Matthew and the snippets of there children, the dog, a handsome brother and committed friend throughout. I loved it until the ending. *Spoilers* So, he cheats and she forgives him. I understand why it was part of the story and it was very gripping, what I don’t like is that it felt a bit rushed at the end, between Anna finding out and then her making up with Mathew with a Kiss. Again, I understand why it would happen this way but I just didn’t agree that her character would have so easily forgiven a cheating man when she lost her husband.  She found out about the cheating, struggled to forgive and then forgave him and wandered off into the sunset all within 3 chapters. A little too unforgiving compared to the rest of the book in my opinion.

Lucy Diamond – The Beach Cafe – This was a generally a good book. I enjoyed reading it but never felt like it was a strong contender for some of my favourites in the first place so maybe it never had a good chance at winning my heart. I would recommend it but in my opinion, it was a little dragged out and predictable. As soon as she saw the child in need of help or met the guy you knew how it was going to end up which meant the rest of the book was just the middleman that you had to push out the way to get to the ending which you already knew about. It was just a bit meh.

It could have been so much better and much more enticing so it was a real shame.

It’s strange how I’ve reviewed and recommended quite a few romantic comedies. Unlike my love for reading this genre, I have no passion for writing the genre. I love writing things that dig into your bones and makes you question life whilst hiding behind a cushion. Since becoming a writer I have definitely started reading a lot more thrillers, horrors and books with an overall dark theme. Next, on the list are a few Stephen King novels so keep an eye out in the future for another post. 

Of course, these reviews and recommendations are only my opinions so you may not agree with me. What do you agree with and what don’t you? Is there anything I need to read? Let me know in the comments below.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *