Can You #ReadWithoutPrejudice? Anonymous Genre(s): Adult, Literary Fiction, Realistic Fiction Published: October 1st 2016 Pages: 465 Rating: 4 stars
“There are two points in life when we are all equal: at the moment of birth and at the moment of death. It is how we live in between that defines us. Delicately balanced. Perfectly crafted. Beautifully written. We want you to immerse yourself in this dazzling novel, free from any preconceptions that a cover, title or author can bring. We ask you simply to #readwithoutprejudice.”
An advanced digital copy was provided by NetGalley. This is no way influenced my thoughts.
The main issue addressed in #readwithoutprejudice is apparent from the get-go – the cover and the quote are actually very big hints as well, but it’s not until you start reading that you get a feel for things.
Everything about this book – the author, the title, the synopsis – is shrouded in mystery. While it definitely works as a way to create interest and speculation, it’s disappointing that it had to be done – as no doubt a lot of people wouldn’t have picked this up and given it a chance had the plot been readily available. There isn’t much that can be said without ruining the entire thing, but the subject matter is very topical and relevant to our society. And it’s a shame that the issue is having to be addressed through fiction; it should be more than enough to hear about it in the news.
All that aside, the book itself was good. It was well written and all of the characters were very separate to each other with their own individual voices, but they all wove together to create a gripping story. It did take me a short while to warm up to things – the first couple of parts were very heavy with medical terminology and I wasn’t sure where things were going – but by the time I did I was invested. I was hooked on wanting to know what happened to our main character, Ruth, and whether everyone got what they deserved.
While I had no problem swapping between the different points of view, I did struggle slightly with the jumps in time within these perspectives. It wasn’t always clear when things were happening in relation to the main storyline, and there were times when the snap back to the present weren’t always completely clear. That being said, it didn’t have a big impact on my enjoyment.
The problems I did have with this story were all the professional terms used in regards to Ruth’s and Kennedy’s jobs, and the fact that it centred on children and birth. The terminology was an easy fix: I asked Google and my mother. The babies were harder to work around, but that’s just down to personal preference and my strong desire to never, ever, have kids. I’m sure if you don’t mind babies you’ll enjoy this a lot more than I did, because there were, admittedly, a few times when I just didn’t care.
Regardless of my likes and dislikes, there is no denying that #readwithoutprejudice is a fantastically written, hard-hitting, and – unfortunately – current read. Maybe it’ll act as an eye-opener to those who aren’t bothered by, or don’t see, the issues faced by minorities.
When dealing with mental health, it's often the little things that can make a big difference. We're constantly told to 'deal with it' and hear well-intended but useless things such as 'have you tried yoga?' People seem to forget, for many, getting out of bed in the morning can be the biggest challenge of the day. With that in mind, I've complied a list of things that - I hope - can help improve your day.
Please bear in mind these are just suggestions based on what works for me. Everyone is different so if these don't help don't be discouraged. You'll find something that does.
TBR Feature is the chance for me to, every Wednesday, pick one of my unread books and discuss it: why I picked it up, when I'll get round to reading it, if I'm still interested in it at all etc. Split Second by Sophie McKenzie
The Sleeper and the Spindle Neil Gaiman Genre(s): Fantasy, Retelling, Young Adult Published: September 22nd 2015 Pages: 69 Rating: 3 stars
“It was the closest kingdom to the queen’s, as the crow flies, but not even the crows flew it. You may think you know this story. There’s a young queen, about to be married. There are some good, brave, hardy dwarfs; a castle, shrouded in thorns; and a princess, cursed by a witch, so rumor has it, to sleep forever. But no one is waiting for a noble prince to appear on his trusty steed here. This fairy tale is spun with a thread of dark magic, which twists and turns and glints and shines. A queen might just prove herself a hero, if a princess needs rescuing…” There's no denying that this is a gorgeous book. Chris Riddell's artwork is the perfect mix of classically elegant and gothically creepy, providing a perfect accompaniment to Gaiman's prose, which (as always) was whimsical and confusing. While the idea of blending Sleeping Beauty and Snow White into one, more modern, fairy tale is intriguing and innovative, I couldn't help but feel that The Sleeper and the Spindle fell a bit flat. For the most part, I'm putting this down to my inability to fully appreciate and understand Gaiman's work. This is the third book by him that I've tried and I'm still floundering. Yes, he can create magical stories, I'm not saying he can't. What I am saying is that they go straight over my head. They jump from place to place, leaving me stranded somewhere in between, desperately trying to gather my bearings. Not what you'd call a relaxing reading experience. The saving grace truly is the artwork; I couldn't give this a low rating because the black, white, and gold illustrations are captivating and carried the story for me. A fantastic idea, just not done by the right person. For me, at least.
TBR Feature is the chance for me to, every Wednesday, pick one of my unread books and discuss it: why I picked it up, when I'll get round to reading it, if I'm still interested in it at all etc. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
Do you ever look back on the books you've read, the series you've started and think 'do I really want to carry on with this?' I know I do.
It's odd for me to not finish a series, usually I'm dying to know how things are wrapped up at the end. With two of these, that is the case, but I just can't keep up. Without further ado, here are the top three series that I will - probably - not be finishing.
TBR Feature is the chance for me to, every Wednesday, pick one of my unread books and discuss it: why I picked it up, when I'll get round to reading it, if I'm still interested in it at all etc. The Host by Stephanie Meyer