The Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh

Book Review

Wow!  This book is claustrophobic, stunning and full of distorted truths.  It is beautifully written and even though it is based ‘somewhere else’ the imagery Mackintosh creates paints the most wonderful pictures and brings the whole place alive in your mind.

What is even more crucial to this story is the relationships between the characters.  Between siblings, between parents, between lovers, between friends, they are all complicated, raw and full of sharp observations from Mackintosh.

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The language in this story is incredible and moving.  Every word was placed with consideration, builds into the narrative as a whole and creates a feeling of unease.  Even when falling in love a character says ‘My heart swells like a broken hand to twice its size, the same sort of tenderness.’  Even love in this world has an undercurrent of potential danger.  This unease also swells throughout the story through the clever use of language.

Although Mackintosh is writing about an unknown dystopia; our own world, our treatment of each other, the taught behaviour and performative gender are all reflected back at us, offering a fascinating commentary on our own world and our own actions within it.

I can see why some people are not sure about this book, it is impossible to place and throws you straight into its dystopia with no explanation, but personally, I think it works brilliantly as it builds into the confusion that the three sisters feel.

This book will certainly be added to my favourite reads of  2018.

Read more about The Water Cure here…

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What have you been reading recently?  Let me know and let’s have a chat about it in the comments.  I’m always on the lookout for new great reads!

Happy Reading!

Nicola x

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Thank you NetGalley and Penguin for sending me a Kindle edition of The Water Cure in exchange for an honest review.

 

Book Review – One Million Lovely Letters by Jodi Ann Bickley

Any Human Heart, To Love To Read

I first heard about One Million Lovely Letters about a year ago when a friend sent me the link to the website.  I was beyond amazed by the concept – if you feel like you need a hug in an envelope, email Jodi Ann Bickley and she will handwrite you a letter to remind you how awesome you are.  See – amazing!

I looked for the website recently because I had a story idea that’s based on a similar concept.  When looking, I saw that Jodi Ann Bickley has written a book by the same name which was immediately ordered and quite literally devoured by me.

image1.JPGI think everyone should read this book.  It should be on the school syllabus.  It should be a staple in everyone’s lives, because it essentially reminds the reader that we all that have a choice to be a cloud or a ray of sunshine in someone else’s day.

Having said that, it’s not all “life is perfect, be positive and everything is completely fabulous all the time.” Jodi is beautifully honest about some pretty brutal emotional and physical difficulties and illnesses that she’s been/going through.  About how even when things are starting to go right, she still has personal hurdles to overcome.

This book reminds us that everything is not perfect – it never is – but we still have the option to be kind.

The story itself is captivating but the language used and they way the story is told is equally gorgeous.  The author is a poet (by day) and I think it really come across in the beautiful language and Bickley has an amazing way of drawing you in and expressing so much emotion through her words.

This book feeds your soul and is well and truly on my ‘favourite books of all time’ list.

My children (like me) think that getting post is the best thing ever but (again like me) they only get anything around their birthday.  About half way through the book, I decided to write my children (ages 6 and 4) letters to remind them how awesome they are.  I posted them and they were so excited finding them on the doorstep and even more excited when they realised it was from me.  It was so much fun getting to see their little faces as they read how much I love them.  They both have them under their pillows now.  Such a simple idea but it brought so much joy to all of us.  I implore you to do the same.  Write a letter to someone and let them know how awesome they are.

If you are feeling inspired by the concept, One Million Lovely Letters is currently collecting  letters from all over the globe to go into an exhibition so are asking lovely people to post lovely letters.  Here is Jodi Ann explaining all about it…

One Million Lovely Letters the book (plus Jodi and the whole One Million Lovely Letters concept) is a massive 5 out of 5 for me.

Get it, read it, share it – your life will only be inhanced by reading this wonderful book.

Happy Reading x

Book Review – The Woman Who Upped and Left by Fiona Gibson

To Love To Read

Hello all,

I just had to recommend this book to you all…

RomCom isn’t usually my genre of choice, favouring literature, drama and thrillers but as I was going on holiday I thought I go for something more uplifting and I’m so pleased I did.

Most importantly, it was still very well written, very important to me.  One of my favourite things was that good and bad things happened throughout the novel rather than that common – something goes wrong, everything turns out alright. I found this a much more interesting read and kept the novel a real page turner.

I thought this was the perfect summer read, very funny and thoroughly enjoyable. So lovely to have something uplifting to read after quite a lot of thrillers recently.

I have never read anything by this author before but have been busy downloading and starting reading everything else she has written I enjoyed it so much.

It’s also only 99p on Kindle at the moment and only £3.49 in paperback, so if you are looking for something interesting, well written, funny and uplifting, get downloading now!

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The 5 Most Popular Posts of 2015

Cancer & Me, Delicious Healthy Recipes, To Love To Read, Writing & Blogging

I actually cannot believe today is New Years Eve and the end of 2015!  As NYE can make us a little reflective, I thought that I would give you all the links for the 5 most popular posts on this blog in 2015!

  1. The Stupid Things People Say When You Have Cancer! – This is actually my most popular post of all time, I think because it is just as useful for people who don’t have cancer as those who do.
  2. Top 5 Things to do When Someone Has Cancer – I imagine this is for a similar reason, it’s useful for everyone.
  3. Holy Island by LJ Ross – Book Review – This book was such a huge success for LJ Ross and people seem to like reading about Holy Island, just as much as they like reading Holy Island.  Final instalment is out this year, can’t wait!
  4. Kiddie Friendly Green Juice – AKA Dinosaur Juice – This post was actually from 2014 but remains one of my most read this year!  Clearly I need to be doing more posts on the healthy juices I get my kids to drink.
  5. The Problem with NOT Losing Your Hair When You Have Cancer – I remember being so nervous when I wrote this post.  It is a side of cancer that you don’t hear very much about and I was worried about people’s reaction to the post.  But I needn’t have been, you guys couldn’t have been kinder and I got some very sweet messages from people who had exactly the same thing.  I’m so pleased this post made it onto the list.

So there they are, my top 5!  Are they yours?  Was there another post you preferred?  Let me know in the comments.  And if there is anything you would like me to write more about, please feel free to let me know about that in the comments too.

Wishing you a Happy and Healthy New Year!! Nx

Happy-New-Year-2016

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Interested in Reviewing The Fabulous Woman’s Guide Through Cancer?

Cancer & Me, Writing & Blogging

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If you are interested in reviewing The Fabulous Woman’s Guide Through Cancer for your blog or website, please fill in your details below and I will contact you shortly.

I look forward to hearing from you! Nx

 

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Holy Island by LJ Ross – Book Review

To Love To Read

I am just going to put it out there right now that LJ Ross is a friend of mine but when it comes to book reviews this could be a double-edged sword!  When purchasing her debut novel Holy Island I was suddenly faced with an awkward realisation – what if I hate it?  Or (possibly even worse) what if it’s just all terribly average and I have absolutely nothing to say about it?

Oh my gosh. I loved it!

It was the perfect blend of mystery, characters and emotions.  I loved the language, Ross had a Unknownbrilliant way of using a select few words to convey something immeasurably powerful.  Generally I am not a fan of descriptive scenery but just as Lucy Clarke does in her novels, Ross brings the Holy Island landscape to life, making the Island itself integral to the story and one of the lead characters in the book.  I am now desperate to visit Holy Island!  The characters were all so strong with different facets of their personalities coming through as the story unfolds.

In hindsight I don’t know what I was worried.  I know that someone as awesome as LJ Ross was only going to write something awesome.  I happen to know that she is working on her 2nd book at the moment, I am definitely going to be trying to steal a peek to see what’s coming next!!

5 out of 5 – a must read of 2015.

Holy Island is available exclusively through Amazon

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Before We Met by Lucie Whitehouse – Book Review

To Love To Read

I haven’t posted a book review for a while.  The reason being, I have struggled to get into a book.  That was until Me Before You by Lucie Whitehouse.  This book moves at a quick pace (which I love), keeping you turning the pages as rapidly as you can.

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Although it is building up to something, I was still taken by surprise by what the twist was and although I suspected the ending, its delivery was still surprising and not quite what I thought.  The narrative moves between the past and present and at some points I thought it could have been a little clearer when jumping between the two.

All in all a fantastic book that I would highly recommend – as long as you don’t mind being kept up late because you just need to read one more chapter!! 🙂

Happy reading x

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green – Book Review

To Love To Read

Oh my, where to start.  When I first started reading this book I nearly stopped when I realised immediately that the story revolves around cancer.  Only 18 months after going to war with cancer myself, not my idea of happy reading, no matter how good the story is.  But I was captivated, from the very beginning, even with a topic I actively avoid in books and films, I couldn’t put it down.

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Even in a book which seems so predictable, it surprises you.  Although cancer is the thread that holds it all together it is a book about love, family and optimism in the face of tragedy.  It is also very funny and gives a fantastic insight into the dark-humour side and dare I say ‘perks’ of cancer and into the mind of someone with cancer.  John Green captures it so well.

There is a line in the novel, “it would be a privilege to have my heart broken by you” and that sums up the book for me.  It is a privilege to cry over this book because its wrapped up in some much wonderfulness, warmth and love.

In short, I highly recommend you read this book!

4.5 out of 5

Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher – Book Review

To Love To Read

I have been wanted to read this book for a while so it was great to finally get there.

I know that mind of a teenage girl is sporadic at best but in trying to imitate that, I felt there was to much jumping around in the protagonists thoughts and unnecessary information.  I found myself more than once thinking, get on with it, this isn’t relevant.  To be fair this book is Young Adult so I’m not the intended audience but then again so was Twilight and Harry Potter is for kids… I’m a fan of both?!

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The annoying thing is that the actual story itself is really good.  I love the way it unravelled, cleverly showing the plot unravelling as you see the characters unravelling. I enjoyed the narrative being letters written to a man on death-row.  It was a shame that it got lost in all the random thoughts she was having.

I wanted to like this book more than I truly did – sorry!

I’m rating this book 2.5 out of 5 xxx

Precious Thing by Colette McBeth – Book Review

To Love To Read

I am not sure how to start when reviewing Precious Thing.  To say I loved it, is far to bland.  I love coffee but that feeling is no where near close to how much I was totally enthralled by this book.

For me this book has everything.  A storyline that keeps you guessing all the way along.  Some parts I started to see coming, then they were inevitably delivered in a way or with a twist that I wasn’t expecting.  The characters were imperfect in a way that made them totally relatable and from the off you were completely caught in the most gripping story.  The writing was unquestionably some of the best I have read.  There were so many layers to this book which were delicately dissected but at a really good pace that kept the story ploughing forward page after page.  And you feel just about every emotion reading this book, at one point my heart was physically thumping in my chest when suspicion was building in a chapter.

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I adored the way it was written in the first person with the protagonist talking directly to her friend.  It’s like you have found a secret letter between the two of them, making the story, lies and truth even more compounding.  This narrative made the story not only more believable but like you really were experiencing it first hand.

Even though it was in the first person, the author Colette McBeth had an incredible way of still showing you other people’s sides of the story, just enough to let you realise that the story may not be everything that is being told to you.  It really was so clever.

I read the other day the test of a true book is the feeling that it leaves you with afterwards.  You may not remember every word but you remember how it made you feel and it keeps ticking over in your head.  This is that book.  I can all but guarantee, you won’t be disappointed!

A hands down, fantastic 5 out of 5! x