Brooklyn by Colm Toibin – Review

E book provided by Netgalley in return for a honest review 

brooklyn cover

Over view

Brooklyn is the story of Eillis Lacey a young woman in 1950’s Ireland Eillis  lives with her widowed mother and her much loved older sister Rose. Rose and her mother have high hopes for Eillis and when the only work she can find in her small home town is working behind a small shop counter for a nasty shop keeper Eillis’ mother and sister conspire for her to move to America to live and work. Sponsored by a local priest who now lives in Brooklyn Rose and Mrs Lacey are told about the great job prospects in Brooklyn for a girl like Eillis along with a thriving Irish community. Before she can protest or fight for her right to stay in the country she loves Eillis finds herself on a boat full of strangers with the worst sea sickness of her life sailing towards a life that had been picked out for her and one she never would have chosen for herself.

Brooklyn 1

What did I think of Brooklyn? (Some spoilers)

Brooklyn is a story with many layers but the more I think about it the more I think it is both Rose and Eillis’ story. Rose is described as being the sister who would have loved to travel – who was exciting and beautiful and wild and free. I think she did want Eillis to have a better life but I think she also gave Eillis the life she would have wanted for her self.

Brooklyn 6

If things had have turned out differently I think Eillis should have stayed in Ireland it is so much a part of who she is as a character and so much a part of the story she misses her home, her streets the people. Yes she is home sick, but for her it never really passed and when she get’s a chance to go home that is solidified for me.

Brooklyn 3

I did have some issues with this book predominately the writing style the way it was written made it hard to connect to the characters they seemed far off and distant some how. There are some characters in this novel (Tony Eillis boyfriend and his younger brother Frank) which I know are supposed be cheeky and funny and it’s more a case that I am being told they are funny rather than experiencing it for myself. This book lacks dialogue which I find problematic.

Brooklyn 5

Overall it was a good read, two great love interests all the time being tarnished by Eillis’s desire just to be a Irish girl in Ireland. When I finished it I felt sad, I still feel sad, I would recommended reading.

3/5 stars

Brooklyn is soon to be a motion picture to be released towards the end of this year definitely a must see!

The Emoji Book Tag!

Hi guys,

I have been tagged by the lovely Sara at Freadom Library this Tag consists of my favourite and most used Emoji’s and picking books that correspond with those Emoji’s.

So lets get started…

The Grinning Emoji

grinning

I use this when I’m happy or find something funny. I don’t read a lot of happy books I read a lot of books with a serious under tone or a lot of drama going on in the sub plot. A book that made me happy is The Mortal Instruments – The City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. Any time Simon and Jace have any dialogue together pure comedy gold! To check out my original review click here

gfsg      cLARY JACE

The Angry Emoji

angry

Books don’t often make me angry, frustrated maybe or irritated but not angry but one comes to mind, Tyringham Park by Rosemary McLoughlin. It’s a Downton Abbey esk novel with the most annoying main character I have ever read, every decision she makes had me screaming why just why. I hated her in such a passionate way that I nearly put the book down several times. But I did finish it, and this book has stayed with me, for having one of the most frustrating main characters EVER! To read my original review just click

pb1     nope

The Crying Emoji

crying

For this emoji I have chosen a book I have read recently – Me Before You by Jo Jo Moyes.  The touching story of Lou who becomes the carer for a suicidal Will who has recently become paralysed from the neck down. She makes it her mission to show him life is worth living and learns that maybe she has a lot to learn from Will as well. This book is one of my favourite reads this year I found it so touching and even shed a few tears, it is being adapted into a film staring Emilia Clark (Game of Thrones) and I can’t wait. To check out my original review just click.

me before you 1     Crying Rose

I am not amused emoji

im not amused

I don’t like to bash any book but I just really didn’t have a good time reading Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake. At the time I read it this book it was really popular and I saw so many great reviews on Goodreads and Booktube and I’m not going to deny I was totally on board with the concept but… I just found the whole thing really boring and once I started reading found it all quite predictable DNF. I know this is quite a popular book but we all have different tastes but needless to say I won’t be continuing on with this series.

Anna dressed in blood    puppy

The Kissing Emoji

kissing

For the kissing emoji I have picked The Host by Stephanie Meyer I am currently reading this book and I am really enjoying the first love triangle I have ever read that includes only two bodies. I think Stephanie Meyer gets a bad rap because of the twilight novels but I am about half way through this Alien invasion, Dystopian love story and I am loving it! Review coming soon.

the host     ian wanda

So that’s it for this Tag! Thanks again Sara for this Tag now for my nominations-

BookishFreaks

Magic of Books

The Desert Bibliophile

Sarah’s Bookshelf

Oxford Writer’s Lounge

Thanks for reading x

 

Confessions of a Mood Reader

I’ve been thinking recently how what I read is greatly influenced by my mood, I am always trying to push myself when it comes to my reading but if I don’t feel like reading that genre then I just can’t do it.

mood reader

For example my TBR pile is a mess, with books I have bought, challenges, ARC requests just everything even books that have been sitting there lonely and undiscovered for far to long. So when pondering which book to pick up next I normally open and close a few things (close quite a few) and fling myself over my bed in a helpless manor as if I am never going to be able decided. The choice is to great, the mountain to high I may as well face it I AM NEVER READING AGAIN. Okay so maybe this is slightly over dramatic and I really should do something about my mountainous TBR if it is resulting in behaviour suitable of a teenage drama queen.

teenage drama queen

Normally when in this mood – suitable for a TBR shaming blog post I pause and think what do I want to read, what draws me in. And normally I am in the mood for a very specific genre and when this happens nothing else will do. Classics forget about it, YA no way, I am currently in the mood for Sci-Fi/Romance (not to get to specific) which has resulted me reading The Host by Stephanie Meyer (This is a book I’ve read before!) But the heart wants what it wants, I enjoy watching my TBR decrease and blitzing my way through my Goodreads reading challenge but reading is also for enjoyment so I guess I’m just going to read what makes me happy.

the host

On the up side I’ve never reviewed The Host before so there’s a little something to look forward to, hope that wasn’t to ranty for you and you’re all having a good weekend.

Mel and jared

Chloe x

Man Booker Shortlist Announced

So today the Man Book Short list was Announced and I know it’s blasphemy but this year I actually haven’t read any of the books on the Longlist. So I am planning on rectifying this and challenging myself to read the Longlist by the end of the year, it’s a relaxed challenge and just for fun but for now here’s Man booker Longlist. Enjoy everyone!

A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James

A brief history

From the acclaimed author of The Book of Night Women comes a masterfully written novel that explores the attempted assassination of Bob Marley in the late 1970s.

On December 3, 1976, just before the Jamaican general election and two days before Bob Marley was to play the Smile Jamaica Concert, gunmen stormed his house, machine guns blazing. The attack nearly killed the Reggae superstar, his wife, and his manager, and injured several others. Marley would go on to perform at the free concert on December 5, but he left the country the next day, not to return for two years.

Deftly spanning decades and continents and peopled with a wide range of characters—assassins, journalists, drug dealers, and even ghosts—A Brief History of Seven Killings is the fictional exploration of that dangerous and unstable time and its bloody aftermath, from the streets and slums of Kingston in the 70s, to the crack wars in 80s New York, to a radically altered Jamaica in the 90s. Brilliantly inventive and stunningly ambitious, this novel is a revealing modern epic that will secure Marlon James’ place among the great literary talents of his generation.

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

A little life

Brace yourself for the most astonishing, challenging, upsetting, and profoundly moving book in many a season. An epic about love and friendship in the twenty-first century that goes into some of the darkest places fiction has ever traveled and yet somehow improbably breaks through into the light.

When four classmates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they’re broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition. There is kind, handsome Willem, an aspiring actor; JB, a quick-witted, sometimes cruel Brooklyn-born painter seeking entry to the art world; Malcolm, a frustrated architect at a prominent firm; and withdrawn, brilliant, enigmatic Jude, who serves as their center of gravity. Over the decades, their relationships deepen and darken, tinged by addiction, success, and pride. Yet their greatest challenge, each comes to realize, is Jude himself, by midlife a terrifyingly talented litigator yet an increasingly broken man, his mind and body scarred by an unspeakable childhood, and haunted by what he fears is a degree of trauma that he’ll not only be unable to overcome—but that will define his life forever.

In rich and resplendent prose, Yanagihara has fashioned a tragic and transcendent hymn to brotherly love, a masterful depiction of heartbreak, and a dark examination of the tyranny of memory and the limits of human endurance

Satin Island by Tom McCarthy

Satin

From the author of Remainder (the major feature-film adaption of which will be released in 2015) and C (short-listed for the Booker Prize), and winner of the Windham Campbell Prize, a novel that promises to give us the first and last word on the world–modern, postmodern, whatever world you think you are living in.

When we first meet U., our narrator, he is waiting out a delay in the Turin airport. Clicking through corridors of trivia on his laptop he stumbles on information about the Shroud of Turin–and is struck by the degree to which our access to the truth is always mediated by a set of veils or screens, with any world built on those truths inherently unstable. A “corporate ethnographer,” U. is tasked with writing the “Great Report,” an ell-encompassing document that would sum up our era. Yet at every turn, he feels himself overwhelmed by the ubiquity of data, lost in buffer zones, wandering through crowds of apparitions. Madison, the woman he is seeing, is increasingly elusive, much like the particulars in the case of the recent parachutist’s death with which U. is obsessed. Add to that his longstanding obsession with South Pacific cargo cults and his developing, inexplicable interest in oil spills. As he begins to wonder if the Great Report might remain a shapeless, oozing plasma, his senses are startled awake by a dream of an apocalyptic cityscape. In Satin Island, Tom McCarthy captures–as only he can– the way we experience our world, our efforts to find meaning (or just to stay awake) and discern the narratives we think of as our lives.

A Spool of Blue thread by Anne Tyler

Spool of Blue Thread

From the beloved Pulitzer Prize-winning author–now in the fiftieth year of her remarkable career–a brilliantly observed, joyful and wrenching, funny and true new novel that reveals, as only she can, the very nature of a family’s life.
“It was a beautiful, breezy, yellow-and-green afternoon.” This is the way Abby Whitshank always begins the story of how she fell in love with Red that day in July 1959. The whole family–their two daughters and two sons, their grandchildren, even their faithful old dog–is on the porch, listening contentedly as Abby tells the tale they have heard so many times before. And yet this gathering is different too: Abby and Red are growing older, and decisions must be made about how best to look after them, and the fate of the house so lovingly built by Red’s father. Brimming with the luminous insight, humor, and compassion that are Anne Tyler’s hallmarks, this capacious novel takes us across three generations of the Whitshanks, their shared stories and long-held secrets, all the unguarded and richly lived moments that combine to define who and what they are as a family.

The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma

The Fisherman

In a Nigerian town in the mid 1990’s, four brothers encounter a madman whose mystic prophecy of violence threatens the core of their close-knit family. Told from the point of view of nine year old Benjamin, the youngest of four brothers, The Fisherman is the story of an unforgettable childhood in 1990s Nigeria, in the small town of Akure. When their strict father has to travel to a distant city for work, the brothers take advantage of his extended absence to skip school and go fishing. At the ominous, forbidden nearby river, they meet a dangerous local madman who persuades the oldest of the boys that he is destined to be killed by one of his siblings. What happens next is an almost mythic event whose impact-both tragic and redemptive-will transcend the lives and imaginations of its characters and its readers. Dazzling and viscerally powerful, The Fishermen never leaves Akure but the story it tells has enormous universal appeal. Seen through the prism of one family’s destiny, this is an essential novel about Africa with all of its contradictions—economic, political, and religious—and the epic beauty of its own culture. With this bold debut, Chigozie Obioma emerges as one of the most original new voices of modern African literature, echoing its older generation’s masterful storytelling with a contemporary fearlessness and purpose.

Excited to get to these congratulations to all those nominated and to a great Shortlist Manbooker. If you have any recommendations of which book from Shortlist or Longlist I should start with or have a favourite you would love to chat about do get in touch.

Testament Of Youth – Film Review

Testament Of Youth is the story of Vera Brittan, adapted from her war memoir of the same name; many claim Vera’s book  to be the best documentation of the First World War that has ever been written. Testament of Youth is the horrors of the First World War told from a woman’s perspective and the terrible reality of being the one left behind.

alicia vikander animated GIF

The film follows Vera (Alicia Vikander) who is desperate to go to Oxford University with her brother Edward and their friends Victor Richardson and Roland Leighton. Edward begs his father to allow Vera to take the interviews and exams and after much negotiating he agrees, she is accepted. Ecstatic to be able to study at such a prestigious institution alongside her friends she makes plans for her future and intends to pursue her dream of becoming a writer.

alicia vikander animated GIF

It is during her last summer before starting Oxford that Vera begins a romance with Roland ( Kit Harrington) they have everything in common their love of literature and a shared respect for women’s rights, but then the war happens. Roland, enlists followed by her beloved brother Edward (Taron Egerton) and soon after Vera’s best friend Victor (Colin Morgan) is drafted and she is all alone and she knows he can no longer study at Oxford she must do something. She cannot stay buried in books when her boys are fighting for their lives.

Alicia Vikander Kit Harington animated GIF

A beautiful story of the lost generation Vera’s life from the moment the war started was immersed in tragedy. If you don’t know what happened to Vera and the boys I won’t spoil it for you but this film really showed the horrors of the First World War. Not in a gruesome way that we often see in Hollywood films but in passionate heart felt way, what it must have felt like to be female to have loved ones in mortal peril and have very little you could do about it.

This story is tragic, poignant and I hope Vera, Roland, Edward and Victor are never forgotten,

5/5 Stars

Liebster Award!!

This is the first award I have ever received for my blog so thank you so much 1booklife for my nomination it was such a thrill. Being nominated for an award was so nice it makes me realise that there are people out there actually reading my content and that’s a great thing.That’s enough gushing lets do this!

Taylor Swift Award animated GIF

Liebster Rules and Regulations

Liebster

Random Facts About Me

  1. I have a dog
  2. He’s called Indie
  3. I have brown eyes
  4. I am a Sagittarius
  5. I want to be a writer
  6. I am writing a novel
  7. My favourite book is Summer in February by Jonathan Smith
  8. My favourite t.v show is A Game of Thrones closely followed by Once Upon a Time
  9. I used to be a ballet dancer
  10. I love horses and have ridden horses all my life
  11. I hate most meat and only really eat chicken

Those were my 11 random facts now for the good stuff!

Now for the questions…

  • What is your favourite colour?

Pink.

Movie Fashion animated GIF

  • What are the top 5 things you would like to do in your lifetime?

Ooo things are getting deep quickly, I’m all about seeing the world so I hope I get to travel the world in my life time. My dream is to be a professional writer so if I am one day a published author I feel that would be a dreams come true moment. I have always wanted to learn to ski and that’s something I’m actually planning to do soon, swim with sharks and just live my life and be happy I guess.

  • What is your favorite song, ever?

Vienna by Billy Joel

  • If you could go anywhere, at any time is the past or present, where?

Can I not just be The Doctor’s companion? Then I could go anywhere in time and space. But as I guess that is not going to happen 😦 I am always really drawn to the past I guess that’s why I enjoy reading the Historical Fiction genre. If I could I would visit Ancient Greece, Ancient Egypt and England in the 1900s.

Doctor Who The Doctor animated GIF

  • If you could meet any person tomorrow, who would it be?

Can I have a fictional if so William Herondale (Hello!) Real, actual human I would probably want to pick the brains of all my favourite authors and that list is just way to long.

  • What color takes up a majority of your closet?

Probably Black, brown, I love my Autumn, Winter colours.

  • What is your dream job?

Writer.

Tv Excited animated GIF

  • If you had the choice what would you be, a cyborg or a hybrid?

Hybrid or what? Hybrid I guess, I don’t fancy being part machine.

  • Sweet or Salty?

Sweet. I have a very sweet tooth.

  • Where would you like to travel/live?

I would like to travel to so many places India and Asia come to mind. I live in England I think I will always live here but I would love to visit everywhere!

  • What is your favourite song lyric right now?

No common sense, nobody left to believe in – Queen

That’s all Folks! Now for my questions 🙂

  1. Favourite T.V show?
  2. Favourite Book?
  3. How did you get into blogging?
  4. Do you have any siblings?
  5. Favourite Food?
  6. How tall are you?
  7. What is your star sign?
  8. Cat or dog?
  9. Night owl or Early bird?
  10. Favourite book to movie adaptation?
  11. Favourite song right now?

My nominees –

Girlwithabookblog

Michelleandbooks

Chelsontheshelf

novellamydear

RachelAlsoWrites

daytimereading

adventuresofabibliophile

thegirlsinplaidskirts

hellphiesfiendishfiction

booknerdigan

freadomlibrary

Thanks again for the nomination 🙂 x

The Magicians Nephew Review – Chronicles of Narnia Book 1

 

 This is part of The Problem of Susan Challenge and will contain spoilers for the Chronicles of Narnia.

I decided to read the Chronicles of Narnia chronologically instead od publication order if you want to know why or you want to know more about my The Problem of Susan Challenge click here.

The Magicians Nephew takes place before The Lion Witch and the Wardrobe and follows best friends and next door neighbours Diggory and Polly. Diggory and Polly are playing together when they find their way into Diggory’s uncle’s ‘office’ and unwittingly discover he is a magician. Diggory’s mad uncle sends the children to another world using two magical rings desperate to know where the rings will lead them and far to cowardly to go himself.  At first the children don’t go to Narnia but they do meet a young and just as wicket White Witch.

What did I think?

I read the Lion Witch and the Wardrobe when I was a child and have since heard endless people say how there are many Christian connotations within the stories. As a child it was not something I picked up on perhaps children just read a book for what it is and don’t read to much into what it says. There is a passage in this book where Aslan literally sings Narnia into existence which was a really interesting example and it was really interesting to see for the first time what I had been told many times before.

aslan

This book was okay it lacked a lot of the magic of some of the other books The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe in particular. The main character Diggory was a horrible spiteful little boy who pulled and pinched his friend Polly who was a sweet girl but a poorly developed female character.  How  Narnia and the talking animals came to be was interesting but I don’t think it warranted a whole book.

Interesting Fact: Anyone who wants to find out how the lamp post got into Narnia should read this book, just saying…

Paint and Butterflies rating 2/5 Butterflies

butterfliesbutterflies paint

Next book –  The Lion Witch and the Wardrobe