Book Reviews: October 2018

Howdy Guys! Welcome to my October book review! Yay! I’m now 9 books away on my Goodreads Book Challenge! We can do this guys. If anyone else is doing the challenge we can all pull through! x

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Career of Evil – Robert Galbraith

career-of-evil-uk-cover
Read this book if…
You have read the first two Cormoran Strike novels, and are in need to find out what happens next in his and Robin’s thrilling adventure. 

Ever a writer worthy of so much Admiration, Rowling yet again delivers a novel chocked with character development that exceeds over any genre she writes in. Career of Evil, the third novel in the Cormoran Strike series is by far the darkest of the three (now four with the introduction of book 4: Lethal White).

After receiving a terrifying package in the post, both Cormoran and Robin are thrown into a case that is unlike any other they have had to deal with. No longer are they concerned with the cases of others, this is purely a personal case they must solve together or risk life threatening dangers.

Like the previous two novels, Rowling does a great job of introducing new characters, whilst evolving the ones we’ve already come to love. Career of evil has no shortage either of side characters and sub plots to keep the momentum going, and out of the three novels I felt as though this one had the most pace and certainly the most stakes.

Far more violent and grotesque is the style of writing, and the motives of each character are laid out so deliciously it’s hard to put the book down once you’ve really sunk your teeth into it.

It is evidential Rowling’s style is always improving, which is good news for fans like myself: for we have rarely been disappointed.

Lethal White – Robert Galbraith

220px-Lethal_White_UK
Read this book if…
You are up for an investigative challenge, and of course want to know what happens next in the Strike series! 

The novel is, as like the previous novels, full to the brim with character. It’s something I have always loved in Rowling’s work, how she is – despite the over critical press she sometimes receives for each of her novels – able to tell any kind of story with characters you can’t help but love.

Cormoran and Robin are given a lot more room for development in this novel. We had a great opportunity to get to know them throughout the first three novels, but with Lethal White, we see a much more intimate side to them in terms of their personal lives and relationships and how that affects their professions.

Though I loved this novel, it being a Rowing novel it’s hard for me not to, I must agree with a few of the other reviews I’ve come across, that being it is rather long compared to the previous. Though I feel like this is a trait we should come to expect now from JK, as with the Potter novels. But regardless, this was still a superb read.

Deviating away from some of the previous themes of the earlier books, which veered towards arguably more of a grotesqueness in the crimes, Lethal White acts as more of a political drama. There is much to do here with left and right wing controversies, bigotry, misogyny and patriarchy, and the allowances given to those of wealth.

I found with this novel there to be a whole host of well-fleshed characters. There are loads of them, and the book does indeed demand your attention throughout in order to keep up, not that it’s a terribly fast paced book, however, but given the inclusion of both the main plot and a host of main and side character subplots, it was easy to fall victim to the many red herrings scattered throughout, which in essence, given you’ve been paying attention throughout the book, are very welcome and well placed come the novels’ climax.

As a whole, Lethal White is a pretty long book, but if you enjoy seeing Cormoran and Robin show their true potential and watch as they progress further into their careers solving ever more complex cases, then you must read this novel. But don’t expect a tied up ending to Strike and Robin just yet, for I feel much more is to come for them.

The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist.jpgRead this book if…
You want a novel that is hihghly thought provoking, condensed and huge on life affirmation. 

In essence, The Alchemist is a story of passion and desire for self fulfilment. The book is in fact fiction, though it really – in my personal view, as well as many others – reads more like a self-help book.

This is not a bad thing. In fact I thought it interesting to come across a novel, that reads like a fiction but conveyed its message as a life improvement guide.

The book is pretty whimsical in most places, such as the protagonist’s runnings with eccentric characters who’s sole purpose is to push the character further towards his goal whilst providing fabulous messages about following one’s heart and considering your own wishes.

What I loved most about this book, was not just its quality over quantity (a small book this really is – an advanced reader could probably fly through this within a day) but the proactiveness of its protagonist. There does however appear to be very little conflict in this story, which for modern literature would probably be a no go, but for The Alchemist, this aided in the fluidity of the story, where the protagonist overcame small obstacles, though vividly portrayed their own personal development as an outcome.

My only criticism must be the debatable fact of “if your heart desires it enough, your desire shall be fulfilled’. Though this for some is a beautiful piece of advice, for most of us this really is wishful thinking, and for many of us who work hard for what we really want, only to come up short, reading something like this can sometimes come across as a bit of an insult.

But it really comes down to your own perspective and perception. If you perceive life to be difficult and use it as an excuse when things don’t go your way, it’s almost proving the moral of this story right. The protagonist in this book is very brave and very proactive: he travels across the world on foot, he engages with total strangers, he bargains with very little, and he has a clear set goal for what he wants in life. For many people, this is a non-reality, and sometimes hard work (or at least what we think is hard work) is sometimes just not enough.

What i liked about The Alchemist however is from the very start, I could tell this was a love/hate novel. I am neither, though I can appreciate the values laid throughout it. It’s beautifully written, gushes with morality and genuinely leaves you with a sense of motivation and hope for one’s own happiness and prosperity…at least to those who’s hearts desire it enough.

Anne Frank’s Diary: The Graphic Adaptation 

 

91D7JFhPgXL.jpgRead this book if…
You want a well respected graphic version of the Anne Frank Diary.

So I was in Foyles in London Waterloo a few days ago waiting for a train. I am not usually a huge fan of graphic novels, I think someone from my childhood once told me they weren’t real books and I’ve pretty much avoided them since after this scolding.

So when I walked past the shelf and saw the graphic adaptation of Anne Frank’s Diary, I thought it an unusual choice for such a delicate subject. But something told me to give it a try. The actual diary had always been on my list, and I thought, since I had read a lot this current month, an image aided version of a book would be a nice treat.

It almost feels guilty admitting to receiving entertainment value from something like this. But I won’t beat around the bush, the graphic adaptation was really enjoyable. In fact I had to ask the gentleman working in the shop weather he thought the adaptation was out of taste, though he gladly informed me the book was in fact commissioned by the Anne Frank Fonds (AFF) to create an adaptation that would be masterfully created and highly respected.

I am grateful to have both enjoyed and been introduced to a subject not all of us are taught at school (myself included). Anne Franks Diary has always been one of those educated norms we all know about, but may not know the true details.

The book is beautifully and respectfully drawn and composed. The facts of the holocaust are present but presented in a dignified and accurate rendition, in no way glamourising, but presented to be both appropriate for children and adults.

I highly recommend for anyone interested in knowing and seeing an accurate and thought provoking adaptation of one of history’s most recognised names.


goodreads

As I mentioned previously, I am so happy to be undertaking the Goodreads Reading Challenge. For anyone interested, all you must do is sign up to Goodreads, search for a bunch of books that take your fancy, and place them onto your “Want to Read shelf.” After that, all you have to do is partake in the Reading Challenge by pledging to read however many books you’re confident you can get through before the end of December.

It’s great fun and by doing so ensures you commit to reading every day. Give it a try and see how far you get. You may surprise yourself!

As always, Id love to hear your thoughts. Comment below or follow me on any of my social medias. I try my best to update regularly on each, and if you like, you can always sign up for my Monthly Newsletter, where I talk in detail about all the things going on in my life, plus any updates on books and projects I’m currently working on.

What books are you currently reading or have recently read? Let me know and let’s start a conversation. 🙂 x

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