Mini Book Reviews #6

Friday, November 17, 2017
I haven't posted one of these mini book review posts for a while but there will be a few more coming soon as well as this post because I was lucky enough to receive quite a lot of ARCs and books from a few lovely publishers. Today's post feature three book reviews of some of my latest reads, all of which I liked and I'd definitely recommend if they sound like your kind of book!

*The Secret Of Vesalius by Jordi Llorbregat (582 pages - available Nov 2017) ★★★ (3.5)
I was very kindly sent an arc of this book by the lovely people at Quercus Books (thanks!) and the tag line the sold me on it was 'Frankenstein meets Sherlock' which sounded amazing! However, I think that tag line and the blurb gives away far too much and as a result, the book was a bit predictable for me anyway, besides a couple of twists at the very end.

We follow Danial Amat, who after fleeing Barcelona, his family and his fiancé years ago, returns for the funeral of his eminent father. Barcelona isn't as he remembers it due to the chaos of the 1888 world fair, raw previous relationships and a spate of gruesome murders of young women in the city.

This book is a debut and it's so impressive as the characters felt so real and fleshed out, I liked the relationships throughout the book, I adored the setting of Barcelona in the late 1800's and I also loved the medical side of the book - it was also quite atmospheric and I absolutely adored the action scenes. I watch a lot of documentaries and I studied medical history in college years ago so I was familiar with the work of Versalius which again, gave away a lot of the book so the surprise and conclusion wasn't that shocking to me and I spent most of the book wondering when the characters would catch on to what was happening as it was so obvious to me but if you don't have an medical history knowledge or knowledge of who Vesalius was then it will be a surprise and so much more enjoyable.

However, despite the slightly spoilt surprise on the whole, there were some twists and turns towards the end of the book that I enjoyed even though it gave me whiplash! I felt like some of the conclusions and how the characters ended up was a little convenient but I think it's a fantastic debut novel and even though it is almost 600 pages, it was such an entertaining and fairly quick read. If you like historical fiction, mysteries and thrillers then you'll love this (unless you have certain knowledge with regards to medical history as I do the it could be a little predictable). I'd definitely recommend it!
*There's Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins (304 pages - available now) ★★★
I started this book last month and for the first 20% I thought that I'd have to DNF it sadly but I'm so glad that I carried on reading as the book developed and the mysteries unfolded which made it far more interesting than the very YA and gossipy start to the book.

We follow a small community in the Midwestern United States, in particular the cliques within the local high school including some of the more popular students and the outcasts and misfits after there's been a murder (that's not a spoiler as it happens within the first chapter or two). We then discover the relationships between certain students, the secrets the students are harbouring and the ramifications of the events that shock the students, school and community.

The writing was quite quick and easy although I really didn't like the very YA feel of the book as at times it seemed a little ridiculous and very cheesy but thankfully the mystery and more gruesome, horror elements of the book as well as the cute romance saved the book for me! It won't be for everyone as it's very YA but I would recommend it as the mystery was great, it was entertaining and cute at times. Thank you Pan Macmillan!
*The Apothcary's Shop by Roberto Tiraboschi (327 pages - available now) - ★★★ (3.5) 
I was very kindly sent this book from the lovely people over at Europa Editions and it sounds amazing! It was translated from the Italian by Katherine Gregor. I started this book for the 'historical fiction' challenge as part of the #AutumnReadthon recently as it's set in Venice 1118AD. It is such an unusual book with a crippled former monk, a dwarf apothecary, Venetian nobles and so much more. 

We follow a fairly large cast of characters in particular, a former monk turned scribe for the Grimani family, an influential noble family within Venice and an eccentric female physician. I adored the setting of Venice as not only have I been there but it's such an incredibly atmospheric, eerie and vivid setting as well which fits the book perfectly as it too is dark, mysterious and unusual. I loved the writing and story on the whole, even though at times it is very disturbing and the author seems to like graphic descriptions when it comes to dead bodies, sex and medical examinations which may not have been needed in such detail... I liked the mystery, even though at times it was a little predictable; I also liked the characters, especially Kallis, Abella, Sabbatai and Edgardo who were all vidid and interesting characters. The ending was great, if a little disturbing, yet again.

I would definitely recommend it especially for this time of the year but maybe not if you aren't comfortable reading about overly detailed and unusual descriptions of human genitals, medical topics or dead bodies...I would rate it higher but it was a little slow at times and it took me a while to get into it. It definitely reminded me at times of The Plague Charmer by Karen Maitland so if you're interested in this book but want a similar read with less disturbing themes, then check it out - I'd highly recommend both and I was very close to rating The Apothecary's Shop four stars!

Check out my latest giveaway on twitter to win cinema tickets and snacks!

Have you read any of these three books? What are you currently reading or planning to? 

22 comments

  1. Lots of fab recommendations here! Can’t wait to do some more reading when I finish college for a Christmas!
    Emma | emmadrury.com

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  2. these don't sound like books I would really get into, apart from the first one maybe.
    Pam xo/ Pam Scalfi♥

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  3. Oooh I like the sound of that mystery one - it’s just the kind of book I like to read! x

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  4. This sounds like my kind of book! Xx

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  5. I haven't read any of them but The Apothecarys Shop sounds good! I quite like creepy stuff!
    Alice Xx
    www.blacktulipbeauty.co.uk

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  6. They don't sound like my kind of books. I'm currently reading Himself & feeling 'meh' about it! xx

    Beautylymin| L'OccitaneAdventCalendarGiveaway

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  7. I probably should try another genre than Crime thrillers but I just get bored x

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  8. Oooo wow this sounds so good! As usual I am impressed with your reading speed, I wish I had the time to read :(

    Erin || MakeErinOver

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  9. I always go for chick flicks but need to branch out xxxx

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  10. I've never heard of any of these books before! Right now I'm reading Unconscious Branding and so far so good!

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  11. These books don't really appeal to me. The Apothecarys Shop sounfs the most interesting though.

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  12. Some really interesting sounding picks here! x

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  13. I've heard of the apothecary's shop and quite fancied giving it a read!
    Chantelle x
    The Girl In The Tartan Scarf

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  14. Frankenstein meets Sherlock sounds so interesting! X

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  15. These sound like some really interesting reads! X

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  16. I don't know if I'd be able to sleep after reading some of these haha!

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  17. I like the sound of the first one

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  18. I'm always soo impressed by how many books you read! You really put me to shame haha xo

    Char | www.charslittleblog.co.uk

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  19. Yep I’ll skip over the dead bodies one haha x

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  20. Love your reviews! I am reading vicariously through you right now!

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  21. What does DNF mean? I’m not down with the book club terms! :)

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  22. I haven't read any of these books but they all sound so intriguing! I'm currently reading some Christmassy books and I think I might even start the Harry Potter series all over again too! xx

    www.imjustagirl16.co.uk

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Feel free to leave me a comment, I read all of them!

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