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5 Muffins Book Reviews

Review of ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ by Harper Lee

So in my attempts to read a few more classical books, I have actually managed to find my new favourite read. I absolutely loved this book! I felt it was so gripping and such a page turner, despite being a little bit harder to read compared to more contemporary books because of the older writing style and some of the Alabama accents. Below is my review, plus a sneaky peak at the front cover and description and places to buy:

About The Book

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‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ by Harper Lee

Set in the small Southern town of Maycomb, Alabama, during the Depression, To Kill a Mockingbird follows three years in the life of 8-year-old Scout Finch, her brother, Jem, and their father, Atticus–three years punctuated by the arrest and eventual trial of a young black man accused of raping a white woman. Though her story explores big themes, Harper Lee chooses to tell it through the eyes of a child. The result is a tough and tender novel of race, class, justice, and the pain of growing up.

My Review

This book tackles very strong social and lawful issues through the eyes of a young girl, Scout Finch, as she takes the reader on a journey through the goings on in Maycomb County, with her father, Atticus Finch, and her brother, Jeremy (Jem) Finch. The book starts with childish games, which drives the narrative that ends up being a full circle, which felt really nice to read, in my opinion, because it was almost like a sense of completion inside me, because no questions were really left unanswered.

I fell in love with Scout, as the main protagonist it was hard not too! I also felt for Tom Robinson, and the things he was going through must have been so difficult for him and his family and friends. The characters definitely felt real to me, every time I picked the book up, I felt like I was standing in Maycomb County, or at Finch’s Landing. From what I read of the blurb and reviews, I never expected anything like what I read, even once I had started the book, I never thought I would feel for the characters as much as I did, but I loved the way the book ties up in a full circle, and the whole book is an explanation of the first few paragraphs. My favourite part of the book was the ending, not because it was ending, but because the writing was so fast paced and unexpected I just wanted to know what was going to happen. The trial was especially well written, not too much jargon, but plenty of information to understand what was going on. As I mentioned, the ending was written extremely well, but I think the way the author managed to write such a serious issue through to the eyes of a young child is extraordinary! I was close to tears when I found out certain things (I won’t say because spoilers) but there were a lot of things that also made me really happy, and really laugh out loud as well! I loved the fact that once I had started reading the book, I just wanted to carry on reading, I really enjoyed living in Maycomb County and would not complain if I were to go back there again and again!

I believe anybody can read this, because of the way it is written from the POV of a young child, but still tackles adult issues, I think it is perfect for anybody to get into. It may be a bit more difficult for younger readers to understand some parts, but overall it’s really a good read for anyone.

My Rating: 5 Muffins out of 5

Where To Buy

If you like the sound of the book, here is where you can buy the book (including, but not limited to):

Amazon

Waterstones

Kobo (eBook)

Alibris

Barnes and Noble

  Cover photo and description taken from Goodreads (view book profile here)

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5 Muffins Book Reviews

Review of ‘Allegiant’ (Divergent Trilogy #3) by Veronica Roth

I read Divergent and Insurgent when the books were first released but when I started Allegiant, I found other books that kind of jumped the queue on my TBR list. I finished ‘The Well‘ and even though I had many books to read, I was stuck. I still had a copy of Allegiant on my bookcase that I had borrowed from my cousin and decided that I should get round to reading it, with Insurgent soon to be released in cinemas. Below is my review, plus a sneaky peak at the front cover and description and places to buy:

Note: please do not read the review section of this page if want to know nothing about the plot line. there are no major spoilers, but some minor plot points may be mentioned!

About The Book

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‘Allegiant’ by Veronica Roth

What if your whole world was a lie?
What if a single revelation—like a single choice—changed everything?
What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected?
The explosive conclusion to Veronica Roth’s #1 New York Times bestselling Divergent trilogy reveals the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.

My Review

This book was incredible. I finished it within days, despite it being over 500 pages. I never expected the plot line to turn out like it did, with ‘the city’ being an experiment for genetic damage. The story was carefully crafted around the characters, both dead and alive, and were used very effectively to explain the plot. Tobias/Four I found to be a particularly strong character in this book, as we find out in that he is not actually Divergent, but rather a special GD (Genetically Damaged), with the ability to resist the serums given by the government. It was also a enjoyable to read the story from both Tris’ and Tobias’ perspective, getting two points of view and thus introducing two plot lines in one if you like. While Tobias was connecting with one group of people rebelling against the Bureau, Tris was finding out more about her mother and the experiments. The two stories then come closer knit together and the main personas of the story work together for the same cause. Their relationship also seemed to flurry a lot more than I felt it did in the previous books, getting more of an insight into their feelings for each other. This was especially highlighted in the separate POV chapters. Of course I will not spoil the heart wrenching ending for those you who haven’t read it, but I will say that I was curled up on my sofa in floods (and I really do mean floods!) of tears and I still have not recovered from this read, even after almost 3 days since I reached the end.

I found this was one of those books that you would throw at your friends and shout ‘READ IT!’

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My Rating: 5 Muffins out of 5

Where To Buy

If you like the sound of the book, here is where you can buy the book (including, but not limited to):

Amazon

Waterstones

Kobo (eBook)

Alibris

Barnes and Noble

Cover photo and description taken from Goodreads (view book profile here)

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5 Muffins Book Reviews

Review of ‘The Rabbit Back Literature Society’ by Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen

I saw this book in the window of Waterstones and was immediately captured. Obviously I went inside to look at it a bit more and to find out all about it. I then put it back and decided not to buy it. Next time I saw it I looked again, and I kept repeating this process until I finally decided that I had lokoed at it so much it was probably worth a read, and if I didn’t like then it’s not a complete waste. I bought it on my Kindle and it was my first read of the year and I LOVED IT! I cannot believe I put of reading this book for so long! Below is my review, plus a sneaky peak at the front cover and description and places to buy:

About The Book

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‘The Rabbit Back Literature Society’ by Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen (Translated by Lola Rogers)

Only nine people have ever been chosen by renowned children’s author Laura White to join “The Rabbit Back Literature Society,” an elite group of writers in the small town of Rabbit Back. Now a tenth member has been selected: Ella, a young literature teacher. Soon Ella discovers that the Society is not what it seems. What is its mysterious ritual known as “The Game”? What explains the strange disappearance that occurs at Laura White’s winter party? Why are the words inside books starting to rearrange themselves? Was there once another tenth member, before her? Slowly, as Ella explores the Society and its history, disturbing secrets that had been buried start to come to light…

My Review

As I mentioned previously in this post, it took some convincing to buy the book and actually read it, but I am so glad that I did! The reader is first introduced to Ella Milana, the main character who is written about in the story. The book is in third person, so it was great to read something that wasn’t biased by the character’s opinion, and I really got to know all of the characters equally. I think the plot of the story was very well planned out, capturing Ella’s if and feelings without making so personal with her as the narrator. There were a lot of twists and turns, and I never knew what to expect as I meandered through the maze of chapters. The ‘set the scene’ parts of the book were not too long winded to get bored, but there was still plenty for me to get a nice picture in my head of what exactly was going on. There were some light hearted aspects, which brightened the otherwise very dark and mysterious story, and they eventually all tied into one main subplot, which I think was very well done by the author. The book tackles many issues, a lot of them subject to one or two characters, which I think is hat makes them so unique. I loved seeing the characters develop relationships of love, hate and admiration, but the best part was the heroin of the story loved to read and I think that any book with a book-obsessed female protagonist is gonna be good, but maybe that’s just me?!

My Rating: 5 Muffins out of 5

Where To Buy

So I immensely enjoyed this book! If you like the sound of the book, here is where you can buy the book (including, but not limited to):

Amazon

Waterstones

Kobo (eBook)

Alibris

Barnes and Noble

Cover photo and description taken from Goodreads (view book profile here)

 

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4 Muffins Book Reviews

Review of ‘The Shock Of The Fall’ by Nathan Filer

I take frequent trips to bookshops, Waterstones in my home town mainly, to have look around, even though I am probably completely out of money! I like to look about and add books to my ‘To-Read’ list and sometimes buy them on my Kindle, which is exactly what I did with ‘The Shock Of The Fall’. It caught my eye in the recommended section as I was very badly judging books by their covers (which I know I shouldn’t do, but the cover caught my eye) and saw it had won a Costa award. I read the description and was immediately intrigues, so I went ahead and purchased it to read on my Kindle. Below is my review, plus a sneaky peak at the front cover and description and places to buy:

About The Book

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‘The Shock Of The Fall’ by Nathan Filer

‘I’ll tell you what happened because it will be a good way to introduce my brother. His name’s Simon. I think you’re going to like him. I really do. But in a couple of pages he’ll be dead. And he was never the same after that.’

There are books you can’t stop reading, which keep you up all night.

There are books which let us into the hidden parts of life and make them vividly real.

There are books which, because of the sheer skill with which every word is chosen, linger in your mind for days.

The Shock of the Fall is all of these books.

The Shock of the Fall is an extraordinary portrait of one man’s descent into mental illness. It is a brave and groundbreaking novel from one of the most exciting new voices in fiction.

My Review

As soon as I picked up this book I was hooked. I loved how the book started with a simple explanation of a girl with her doll, which then leaves you wondering why she was introduced into the book. The book takes you on a journey, written through the eyes of a young man called Matt, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia. I found the book to be an amazing insight into what it is like to live with such a terrible disorder and how this character, in particular, dealt with this. He did not see it as an obstacle in his life, but rather embraced it as a way to see his brother, who had unfortunately passed away. Sometimes this was a danger to him, but other times, the way Filer had written the character, was such a beautiful way of remembering his brother without overwhelming the reader with the fact that he was dead. In my opinion, I really felt as though Simon (the brother) was still alive. There were also points were I felt anger toward characters who didn’t respect Matt the way they should have. Some aspects of the book did annoy me just a tad; it seemed to sometimes be padded out with small amounts of unnecessary information, but apart from that I really felt the main character especially was extremely well written, portraying the mental disorder in a very sensitive yet intriguing way.

My Rating: 4 Muffins out of 5

Where To Buy

If you like the sound of the book, here is where you can buy the book (including, but not limited to):

Amazon

Waterstones

Kobo (eBook)

Alibris

Barnes and Noble

 Cover photo and description taken from Goodreads (view book profile here)

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3 Muffins Book Reviews

Review of ‘The Well’ by Catherine Chanter

I recently received a mysterious parcel containing a book (not that I was complaining)! I had received my first book in exchange for an honest review, which is one of the main reasons I started this blog; I wanted to share my reviews with a lot more people. Below is the review I submitted, plus a sneaky peak at the front cover and description and places to buy:

About The Book

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‘The Well’ by Catherine Chanter

When Ruth Ardingly and her family first drive up from London in their grime-encrusted car and view The Well, they are enchanted by a jewel of a place, a farm that appears to offer everything the family are searching for. An opportunity for Ruth. An escape for Mark. A home for their grandson Lucien.

But The Well’s unique glory comes at a terrible price. The locals suspect foul play in its verdant fields and drooping fruit trees, and Ruth becomes increasingly isolated as she struggles to explain why her land flourishes whilst her neighbours’ produce withers and dies. Fearful of envious locals and suspicious of those who seem to be offering help, Ruth is less and less sure who she can trust.

As The Well envelops them, Ruth’s paradise becomes a prison, Mark’s dream a recurring nightmare, and Lucien’s playground a grave.

My Review

I ploughed through this book in a week, but I found myself having to put a lot of effort and time into finishing this book, and I struggled a bit in the beginning to get into the story line. When I say ‘in the beginning’ I mean the first two thirds of the book. The final hundred pages were quite gripping, however, but I feel like everything that happened was a bit squished into very few pages when it could have been spread over the whole book. I also found that character representations were quite unevenly spread over the ‘cast’ of the book, with some characters having quite a heavy account of their backgrounds and personality traits description, which really allowed me to connect and fall in love with them. The other characters, however, had a flimsy story behind them and didn’t really allow the reader to know them much as a person. I managed to feel a lot of different emotions throughout this book: confusion, anger, sympathy, love, but all of those emotions were centered on the main character, and two supporting characters. The concept of the plot was OK, but the ending was quite predictable, I even saw the culprit of the main plot point as soon as the character was introduced to me.
I wouldn’t say this book was a disappointing read, as I did enjoy the story towards the end, but I just felt the beginning dragged on, but necessary to read to support the ending, and some characters could have had a bit more ‘oomph’ to them to make the book a more exciting read through the boring plot points.

My Rating: 3 Muffins out of 5

Where To Buy

OK, so I know I wasn’t a massive fan, but doesn’t mean that you won’t be too! If you like the sound of the book, here is where you can buy the book (including, but not limited to):

Amazon

Waterstones

Kobo (eBook)

Alibris

Barnes and Noble

If you would like me to include more links to places to buy, please comment below so I can incorporate them into my next review!

 Cover photo and description taken from Goodreads (view book profile here)

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Book Hauls

Book Haul

This is my first ever post on my blog so I thought I would start off with a ‘Book Haul’ list to let my readers know my most recent purchases, and what reviews to expect in the near future. I’m reading a lot more classics now I’m not being forced to read them for school, and I am enjoying them so far, the American literature more than the British lit, which is ironic I guess. I will be reviewing these as soon as I read them, so you might come across something that catches your eye:

  • To Kill A Mockingbird
  • The Catcher In The Rye
  • The Perks Of Being A Wallflower (finally got round to buying this!)
  • The Time Traveler’s Wife
  • All the Bright Places
  • Still Alice
  • Daughter

I have just had my first book in exchange for an honest review which I shall be posting very soon, along some other recent, and some very good, reads.