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Book Review

I finished reading Lolita within a week and I’ve compiled my thoughts into a review. Tell me what you thought in the comments!

REVIEW: Lolita

 

CHARACTERS–––

I think a lot of people don’t pick up on the references to HH’s declining mental health and the evidence there is that his narration is extremely unreliable. Even at the beginning there is a reference to someone he “didn’t kill” – which makes me suspicious that he did in fact kill at least once – and the later chapters go over events with Lolita that feel very confessional: things he didn’t want to admit. The entire book is also written to be read after his and Lolita’s death. HH is manipulative about everything and this reach extends beyond his death. From his narration he doesn’t seem to understand the trauma he has inflicted upon Lolita but we don’t know what he actually feels because he presents a select part of himself for the reader. We don’t have unlimited access to his mind.

PLOT–––

In terms of plot, my only slight issue was how much the last couple of chapters dragged – but I understand why this choice was made. We get to see HH revisit his time with Lolita and some of the things he discusses makes the reader rethink his characterisation yet again. I certainly really began to realise that this character was controlling everything and his narration wasn’t supposed to be reliable in any way. I absolutely adored the poetical style of writing which was strange began I was disturbed by the actual content; I can see why a lot of readers are so split and either absolutely love it or absolutely hate it.

OVERALL–––

Overall, I’m giving Lolita a full 5* rating.

Have you read Lolita? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!


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I don’t usually celebrate release days because I’m always so behind on new releases, but in this case, I feel like I have to make a post!

Happy Release Day, Nyxia Unleashed!

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Amazon / Goodreads

Nyxia by Scott Reintgen was one of the first Netgalley books I ever really loved. I found it during one of my mass requesting batches and I had no idea what to expect, but I loved the title and knew it was vaugely science fiction. What I found was an awesome book with a wide range of representation and a lot of discussion about capitalism, while having, obviously, a strong science fiction theme that was fun to read.

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Amazon / Goodreads

Nyxia Unleashed is the second book in the Nyxia Triad and it is released into the world today, July 17th! I’m super excited about how the events of Nyxia are going to continue. Aliens? Heck yes, sign me up!

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Amazon / Goodreads

I’ll be posting a full review once I’ve finished my eARC, but from what I’ve read already, I’m super enjoying the next book in this unique series. So, happy publication day Nyxia Unleashed! I look forward to reading you – and the final book in the triad, Nyxia Uprising, when it releases next year.

Have you read any of the Nyxia books? Let me know in the comments!


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I recently finished reading The Circle – this is my review! Read on to find out what I thought of The Circle by Dave Eggers.

REVIEW: The Circle

In this review I’m going to be comparing a lot of it to the Netflix adaptation of The Circle, because  I watched this a few years ago before I even knew there was an original book it was based on.

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[ Amazon ]

CHARACTERS–

Some parts of The Circle were infuriating, because Mae completely changes over the course of the book – but rather than seeing this as a problem or a fault, I saw this as the exact point of the novel. Mae allows The Circle to change her, fundamentally, because she begins to value her social media appearance more than her personal values. The Circle acts like a cautionary tale; social media is a great benefit but capitalism and total control can be catastrophic.

PLOT–

The plot of The Circle is quite unusual but I don’t want to be too specific about why because it ventures into spoilers territory. The ending was a twist but not in the usual way – most of The Circle’s film adaptation follows the book quite closely, but in the final couple of chapters the book and the film divert from one another. Although the film’s ending is much more satisfying, it is also more commercial and I think I prefer the book’s ending because it is chilling yet realistic.

OVERALL–

I’m giving The Circle a full 5* rating because it was a philosophical, introspective read that I thoroughly enjoyed! It made me reflect on how I use social media and how even people with the best of intentions can be corrupted by money and power. I would recommend this to anyone interested in the expansion of technology, social media and how our online and offline lives can interact.

Have you read or watched The Circle? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!


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This is my review of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick.

Review: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, the base material for the original Bladerunner, is a book I’ve wanted to read for a long time. It is part of my cyborgs and literature module next term at university and is one of the first university books I looked at.

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TITLE–

Although I won’t usually be reviewing the title of books,  I wanted to mention how much I liked the title of this book. It is not only an interesting philosophical question but further relates to the electric sheep Deckard talks about in the opening chapters.

CHARACTERS–

If I had to criticise any element of the book, it would be the characters. I felt like the characterisation of Deckards wife didn’t always make sense and a significant part of this was because the concept of the mood organ and ‘dialing in’ isn’t explained. While it is easy enough to guess what this is some way of manipulating the emotions, I felt like the book should have explained or at least described this a little more. I did love the many twists revolving around a specific character (who I won’t mention to keep this spoiler free, but you’ll know once you reach the final act of the book.

PLOT–

I found it difficult to start Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? purely because of the number of invented words and concepts that aren’t explained.

OVERALL–

I’m giving Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? a 4* rating. I prefer it a lot to the Bladerunner film (which, admittedly, I’ve only watched once; but confused the heck out of me) and I’m interested in reading more of Philip K. Dicks work… I recently bought Electric Dreams which I look forward to reading and comparing.

What have you been reading lately? Let me know in the comments!


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If you’ve been following my Instagram account, you’ll know I’ve been reading Gone Girl recently – here’s my review!

REVIEW: Gone Girl

Gone Girl is one of the texts I’m reading for my Crime, Culture & Transgression module next semester. It coincided nicely with my return to Instagram and since this is my first review since returning properly to blogging, I thought I would play around with my usual review format. Read on to find out what I thought!

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CHARACTERS–

The main difference that hit me between the film – which I saw first – and the book was how different Amy is, especially towards the end of the book. I think the film left me with the impression that Amy was the villain and Nick was the innocent one, but with the book I think it is made clearer that both people are horrible. I see a lot of reviews that state this as the reason they didn’t like the book, and I understand that; but for me, the characters being horrible is the point of Gone Girl. Having horrible characters who do things in the dark that society doesn’t like to talk about only made Gone Girl feel more real to me. If there’s any element of storytelling I like, believability and realism is one of my top priorities.

PLOT–

The only negative thing I have to say about Gone Girl is that there were a couple of chapters – in the middle and near the end – that dragged on a little longer than I felt they should have. This is why I’m deducting 0.5* from my overall rating. However, having said this, I enjoyed the way Gone Girl built and released suspense. It is also important for me to mention that I saw the film a couple of years ago, prior to reading Gone Girl, so I already knew the major twist that happens half way through the book. The film and book are very close in terms of plot – there are specific quotes featured in the film directly from the book – but I would still reccomend reading Gone Girl even if you’ve already seen the film.

OVERALL–

I’m giving Gone Girl a 4.5* rating: the only reason I didn’t give a full 5* rating was due to the reasons I mentioned in the plot section. That being said, I absolutely loved Gone Girl – it has been a while since I read something quite as fast as this. While I used to read giant books very quickly in secondary school, since college and university I’ve gotten out of practice and haven’t read as much or as quickly – Gillian Flynn’s gripping writing style kept me hooked.

Have you read or watched Gone Girl? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!


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I don’t always review the books I study for my degree, but I have some things to say about a few of the books I’ve encountered. Dracula, in particular.

REVIEW: Dracula

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Dracula by Bram Stoker

[ amazon // goodreads ]

TITLE/COVER.

Regardless of which Dracula cover you end up with, they all feature a dark shadowy figure and, usually, the colour red. The title itself, Dracula, immediately makes it clear that this is about a vampire: everyone associated Dracula with gothic conventions and vampires. Even if you know next to nothing about the actual book, you’ve probably seen images from the various film adaptations over the years.

CHARACTERS.

The characters were infuriating, and I hated Dracula for a long time precisely because of this. It wasn’t until we began to start analysing Dracula that I read an essay arguing this was intentional: Dracula is supposed to be “anti-realistic”, the essay suggested, because this adds to the horror. The reader can see the characters are being stupid and making bad choices but are powerless to stop them. With this reflection, I can understand why the characters seem incapable of stopping their ‘vulnerable women’ from becoming vampires – Dracula is the kind of text you have to unpick to like because on a surface level, everyone is useless and none of it is believable.

PLOT.

I found it difficult to force my way from Dracula the first time around. The plot takes a long time for anything to really happen – despite this, it is still a book you need to reread to get the best experience as a lot of the newspaper clippings and diary entries don’t make sense in the larger picture until you know what is happening. It also features a giant amount of unreliability from all the characters, and characters with several name changes, so the first reading can be confusing.

THEMES & ANALYSIS.

For me, Dracula becomes interesting when we look at it from a psychoanalytical perspective. What this means is looking at how unconscious desires are explored through the medium of books: in this case, unconscious desires around hunger – both literal (eating) and metaphorical (sexual desires).

It is also super interesting to look at the various things vampirism has been used as a metaphor for across the film adaptations, ranging from discussing femininity and the unconventional ‘New Women’ of the time who were demonised and dehumanised, to discussing invaders from a foreign land (especially as immigration is still such a hot topic), to comparing vampirism to AIDS. As I talked about in my essay on Dracula, the metaphor of an actual supernatural threat for any group of people is problematic to say the least, but it reflects how society demonises specific identities – the LGBT community, women and immigrants to name just a few.

OVERALL.

I’m giving Dracula a rating of 2.5* – this isn’t to say I didn’t like it or I won’t talk about it, but had I read it on my own I wouldn’t have thought much of it at all. I think Dracula is definitely a product of its time, but the main reason I’m marking it down so harshly was due to the ending; after pages and pages discussing morals and ethics about vampires and what it means to be human, nothing… particularly happens… the great evil is supposedly defeated but we never really get told anything for definite. So, in conclusion: Dracula is interesting, may even fun, to analyse – but not great to read.

Have you read Dracula – what did you think? Are there any books you’ve found interesting to analyse but don’t personally like? Let me know in the comments!


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I feel like I’ve been reading Lord of Shadows for months, but I’ve finally finished it and I’m ready to talk about it! Here is my spoiler free review.

REVIEW: LORD OF SHADOWS

LORD OF SHADOWS – CASSANDRA CLARE

Goodreads | Amazon ]

TITLE/COVER.

I think I prefer the cover of Lady Midnight, but the Lord of Shadows cover is interesting because it breaks away from other covers. I had to check who ‘Lord of Shadows’ referred to, but it makes sense its the Unseelie King as he is a huge part of the book.

CHARACTERS.

In this book I began to really love the characters of The Dark Artifices. The Shadowhunter Chronicles has built a world with multiple LGBT couples, characters from a range of socioeconomic backgrounds, different nationalities and ethnicities, as well as including a character with autism who is still a fully fleshed out character. I can’t praise Clare enough for her inclusion of a wide spectrum of different people – and it never feels like people are included just to fill a quota. It feels like each character is a natural part of the world.

I’m super happy with and excited about the larger role Alec and Magnus had in Lord of Shadows and I feel like Clare is getting a lot better at drawing upon previous characters and integrating them into the plot without detracting from the characterisation of the protagonist characters and their families.

PLOT.

I had an element of the plot spoiled for me (during a drunken afternoon, thankfully my brain scrambled most of the information) but I didn’t know when it was going to occur so it kept me on edge, especially in the later half of the book. While I felt that Lady Midnight was difficult to get into, I sped through Lord of Shadows much faster now that the characters are established in my mind.

The ending was absolutely soul destroying, not only for the protagonists of this series but also for the protagonists in previous series – that’s as much as I can say without venturing into spoiler territory.

OVERALL.

I really enjoyed Lord of Shadows and, unsurprisingly for a Shadowhunter Chronicles book, I’ve decided to give it a 5* rating.

What have you been reading recently? Let me know in the comments!


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