The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August

Title: The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August

Author: Claire North

Genres: Science Fiction | Speculative Fiction

Length: 405 pages

Source: Book Depository

Format: Paperback

Rating: 3/5

Premise:

Harry is a kalachakra – he is reborn after he dies, over and over again.
While trying to figure out how to deal with this, he receives an unexpected visit towards the end of his 11th life that will change everything.

Review:

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August started well enough. I was intrigued by the concept and this character, born in 1919.

The book grasped my attention and held it but after a while the narrative grew tiresome. It jumped a lot between Harry’s different lives and I found myself often confused as to what belong in which life.

There were some twists and turns that perked my interest again but not enough to want to pick the book back up. Also, if the book’s concept involves both time travel and parallel realities, I could not see how it would be possible for the narrative to unfold the way it did. And finally, I cannot believe that Harry would be able to maintain such farce for so long without a single slip-up.

Once you have such issues with a book, it’s difficult for it to hold your attention and make you stick to it, so at times I found it quite difficult to pick it back up, as you can see by the time it took me to go through it. I do believe the book is unnecessarily long, particularly the middle, and could have had more impact if it had been more edited.

Still, it is enjoyable as a ‘what if’ work that makes you think and wonder about several issues.

Read from Oct 22nd to November 11th, 2017
GR Review

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October 2017 Wrap-Up

Dear all

This post is long overdue, apologies for posting it so late. A lot has been going on, including having my Kindle lost, so not a fun month! Good news is I may be getting it back but it’s been weeks now so… I’ll believe it when I see it.

I have moved to paperbacks while that doesn’t happen, but my current read is taking forever so, alas, only 2 books this month. Let’s hope November goes better!


Summary:

Total Books Read: 2

Longest Read: The Blind (400 pages)

Shortest Read: A Child Called “It” (Dave Pelzer #1)/i> (184 pages)

Book of the Month: A Child Called “It” (Dave Pelzer #1)

Favourite Cover:

Challenges Progress:

GoodReads: 55/52

British Books Challenge: 22/12

2017 Netgalley & Edelweiss: 47/35


October Books:

 

A Child Called “It” (Dave Pelzer #1) by Dave Pelzer is a very disturbing account of the abuse and torture the author suffered as a small child. I believe this first book covers David’s life until his 12 years of age and the others in the trilogy will relate the years after.

I would have liked to see a more coherent story, the narrative felt disjointed at it was mostly composed of the odd account of abuse and so I just felt very distant.

I rated it 3/5 stars.

 

The Blind by A.F. Brady was supposed to be the first book I finished in the month but I was so irritated by it that I had to pick up another one before I gave it another try.

I just couldn’t take to the main character. I tried to give her the benefit of the doubt but I just could not understand her thoughts or actions and they ended up just making me really annoyed. There was so much focus on her and so little on the mystery of a patient who no one is able to get to open up that I was just immensely disappointed.

I rated it 2/5 stars.

 

 


Where I got the books:

Book Depository

  • A Child Called “It” (Dave Pelzer #1)

Netgalley

  • The Blind

 

Features:

 


How was October for you?
Do you have a Wrap-up post? Please link it below!

Tackling the TBR [11]: November 2017

Note: The covers link to GR book page.

Click the image to go to The Obsessive Bookseller

Click to go to The Obsessive Bookseller


However you put together your TBR for the next month, the goal is to reduce the amount of obligation in reading and increase the fun.

Here’s a look at how the system works:

1. Identify the titles that take top priority in your TBR.
2. Combine them all in your own Tackling the TBR post.
3. Throughout the month pick from that pile as the mood strikes you.


Greetings, ladies and gents!

Last month I didn’t add much to my shelves – I requested several books from Netgalley but most requests were denied, so I ended up with one non-fiction book from them and one offered by the author to read and review.

Considering how long it is taking me to get through my pile I am content with that.

So here is my TBR pile for November!


November 2017 TBR Tackler Shelf:

Surviving Kidnappers by Olav Ofstad

Surviving Kidnappers by Olav Ofstad

Whispers From the Past (Lake of Sins, #5) by L.S. O'Dea

Whispers From the Past (Lake of Sins, #5) by L.S. O’Dea


Tackler Carry-overs:

The Mistake by K.L. Slater

The Mistake by K.L. Slater

The Surrogate by Louise Jensen

The Surrogate by Louise Jensen

The Doll House by Phoebe Morgan

The Doll House by Phoebe Morgan

The Missing Girls (DI Robyn Carter #3) by Carol E. Wyer

The Missing Girls (DI Robyn Carter #3) by Carol E. Wyer

Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker

Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker


Girl Last Seen by Nina Laurin

Girl Last Seen
by Nina Laurin

The Ghost of Robert Brown: A Mystery Novel by P. Wish

The Ghost of Robert Brown: A Mystery Novel
by P. Wish

Seven Suspects by Renee James

Seven Suspects
by Renee James

Elle by Philippe Djian

Elle
by Philippe Djians

The Fear by Rae Louise

The Fear
by Rae Louise

When I Wake Up by Jessica Jarlvi

When I Wake Up
by Jessica Jarlvi

Don't Wake Up by Liz Lawler

Don’t Wake Up
by Liz Lawler

The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

The Light Between Oceans
by M.L. Stedman

Hollow City (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children #2) by Ransom Riggs

Hollow City (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children #2)
by Ransom Riggs

Library of Souls (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children #3)

Library of Souls (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children #3)
by Ransom Riggs

The Things We Thought We Knew by Mahsuda Snaith

The Things We Thought We Knew
by Mahsuda Snaith

Lying to Children by Alex Shahla

Lying to Children
by Alex Shahla

Quinsey Wolfe's Glass Vault (Glass Vault #1) by Candace Robinson

Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault (Glass Vault #1)
by Candace Robinson

Blood and Stars (Legend of Rhyme, #5)
by Jaime Lee Mann

Stillhouse Lake (Gwen Proctor #1)
by Rachel Caine

Hanna Who Fell from the Sky
by Christopher Meades

The Blind

Title: The Blind

Author: A.F. Brady

Genres: Psychological Thriller

Length: 400 pages | Kindle locations

Source: Netgalley

Publisher: Park Row Books

Publishing Date: September 26th, 2017

Rating: 2/5

Premise:

Sam Jones is the most reputed clinician at the mental health facility where she works.
She finds herself trying to help a mysterious patient who will give nothing away about himself while dealing with her personal issues and struggling to keep them a secret from everyone in her life.

Review:

I grabbed this one because it had two of my favourite themes – mental illnesses and a mystery. However, it’s been a while since I was this disappointed in a book.

For the biggest part, The Blind irked me so much. I just found the main character so annoying. Every situation, including the mysterious patient, seemed to be there as an excuse for her to whine more and descend even further to a rotten place. I couldn’t take much more of her wanting to stab people in the eye or feeling jealous that no one was petting her hair and then going back to her abusive boyfriend. At times I was so close to quitting. I had to pick up another book, which is really uncommon for me.

I appreciated the whole looking perfect to everyone else but suffering so much inside but there really wasn’t much to hold on to, just little clues every once in a while that Samantha never bother to even comment on, let alone try to investigate. I mean, if I found a note with my address and directions for how to get there, I would be seriously worried. All Sam does is comment that the handwriting is not her own.

Towards the end, the chapters got really intriguing, and the pace definitely picked up. I wanted to know more. But ultimately the ending was predictable and it did not make up for the disappointment of the rest of the book.

Disclaimer: I would like to thank the publisher and Netgalley for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Read from Sep 28th to Oct 1stth, 2017
GR Review

A Child Called “It” (Dave Pelzer #1)

Title: A Child Called “It” (Dave Pelzer #1)

Author: Dave Pelzer

Genres: Biography | Non-Fiction

Length: 184 pages

Source: Book Depository

Format: Paperback

Rating: 3/5

Premise:

This is the account of Dave Pelzer’s life growing up with his alcoholic mother’s constant abuse.

Review:

When I first got this I didn’t realize it was part of a trilogy. It is difficult to assess it as a solo book, because I am sure there is much more to Dave’s story and since it is less than 200 pages I am unsure why it wasn’t all put together.

It is a highly disturbing book and it is so hard to accept that this was part of the day-to-day life of this boy, as unfortunately so many others. This wasn’t just abuse and neglect, it was blatant torture.
For its message, because it is an account that needs to be told, it should be out there and people need to be sensitized to it.

However, I have to say that, as a story, I was disappointed because it felt disjointed. There were lots of gaps when something must have changed to make David’s parents change as well and we’re left in the dark to that, as well as the changes in David himself. I craved for an account of a moment when David realized he was changing, something to make it more real.

While I sympathize that young David must have known why things were happening either either, this is his account as an adult, and I believe it would have helped the reader immensely, not only to connect with him more but also to make us think that it could happen to anyone, and that maybe when we see something behaving a certain way or going through certain experiences we should pay closer attention.

So that is the issue I had with this, but as I said, it’s a book that needs to be read. There are certainly many children out there going through this, and they don’t understand what is happening to them, or really believe they are a bad child and deserve what is happening to them.

Read from Oct 9th to Oct 17th, 2017
GR Review

Tackling the TBR [10]: October 2017

Note: The covers link to GR book page.

Click the image to go to The Obsessive Bookseller

Click to go to The Obsessive Bookseller


However you put together your TBR for the next month, the goal is to reduce the amount of obligation in reading and increase the fun.

Here’s a look at how the system works:

1. Identify the titles that take top priority in your TBR.
2. Combine them all in your own Tackling the TBR post.
3. Throughout the month pick from that pile as the mood strikes you.


Greetings, ladies and gents!

Fall has finally arrived and with it some spooky reads. I just noticed how dark the covers for my new additions are!

I still have a lot of catching up to do, particularly on my paperbacks. I am constantly chasing the elusive feedback rate on Netgalley so I tend to prioritise those books.

So here is my TBR pile for October!


October 2017 TBR Tackler Shelf:

The Mistake by K.L. Slater

The Mistake by K.L. Slater

The Surrogate by Louise Jensen

The Surrogate by Louise Jensen

The Doll House by Phoebe Morgan

The Doll House by Phoebe Morgan

The Missing Girls (DI Robyn Carter #3) by Carol E. Wyer

The Missing Girls (DI Robyn Carter #3) by Carol E. Wyer

Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker

Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker


Tackler Carry-overs:

Girl Last Seen by Nina Laurin

Girl Last Seen
by Nina Laurin

The Ghost of Robert Brown: A Mystery Novel by P. Wish

The Ghost of Robert Brown: A Mystery Novel
by P. Wish

 The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August
by Claire North

Seven Suspects by Renee James

Seven Suspects
by Renee James

Elle by Philippe Djian

Elle
by Philippe Djians

The Fear by Rae Louise

The Fear
by Rae Louise

When I Wake Up by Jessica Jarlvi

When I Wake Up
by Jessica Jarlvi

Don't Wake Up by Liz Lawler

Don’t Wake Up
by Liz Lawler

The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

The Light Between Oceans
by M.L. Stedman

Hollow City (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children #2) by Ransom Riggs

Hollow City (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children #2)
by Ransom Riggs

Library of Souls (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children #3)

Library of Souls (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children #3)
by Ransom Riggs

The Things We Thought We Knew by Mahsuda Snaith

The Things We Thought We Knew
by Mahsuda Snaith

Lying to Children by Alex Shahla

Lying to Children
by Alex Shahla

Quinsey Wolfe's Glass Vault (Glass Vault #1) by Candace Robinson

Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault (Glass Vault #1)
by Candace Robinson

Blood and Stars (Legend of Rhyme, #5)
by Jaime Lee Mann

Stillhouse Lake (Gwen Proctor #1)
by Rachel Caine

Hanna Who Fell from the Sky
by Christopher Meades

September 2017 Wrap-Up

September was sweet!

Another cycle has finished at work so that was good and I finally managed to tale some time off, the last week of the month, where I didn’t do much besides sleeping, reading and soaking up the sun.

I was lucky with my reads! I also watched a couple of films but didn’t feel like writing a review. Guess I am going through a phase in that department.

That’s about it!


Summary:

Total Books Read: 3

Longest Read: Little Fires Everywhere (336 pages)

Shortest Read: Narcissism for Beginners (208 pages)

Book of the Month: An Uncertain Grace

Favourite Cover:

Challenges Progress:

GoodReads: 53/52

British Books Challenge: 22/12

2017 Netgalley & Edelweiss: 46/35


September Books:

 

My first book of the month was An Uncertain Grace by Krissy Kneen.

I wanted to try something different so I went for this erotica/speculative fiction short story collection. There are only 5 of them, connected by a common thread, and I have to admit I was blown away. Great story telling, amazing world building and a new view on sexuality.

I rated it 4.5/5 stars.

 

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng was pretty darn great.

These are memorable characters and I loved the portrait of a picture-perfect community disturbed by someone who dared live outside their rules.

I rated it 4.25/5 stars.

 

 

My last book of the month was Narcissism for Beginners by Martine McDonagh.

The book portrayed a few heavy subjects through the eyes of a breezy young man who is slowly coming to terms with the fact he needs to grow up, while learning the secrets of those around him – his guardian, his guru father and his elusive mother.

I rated it 4/5 stars.

 

 


Where I got the books:

Edelweiss

  • Little Fires Everywhere

Netgalley

  • An Uncertain Grace
  • Little Fires Everywhere
  • Narcissism for Beginners

 

Features:

 


How was September for you?
Do you have a Wrap-up post? Please link it below!