September Book Reviews

Wednesday, February 08, 2017
September Book Reviews
September has been a fantastic reading month for me, I finished three books in the first week *I'm very impressed with myself!* and additionally I read six other books through the rest of the month.

*The Nightwalker - Grimly Captivating, mysterious, eerie & suspenseful 
Mysteries and thrillers are two of my favourite book genres, as well as magical realism, fantasy and horror, and this book is perfect for fans of mystery, thriller and horror books! I wish I had read this book closer to Halloween because it would be a perfect October/Halloween read!

The book follows Leon and Natalie, a happily married couple, or maybe not as nothing is what it seems…There are so many mysteries throughout the book most of which are linked to Leon's sleepwalking – It's something I haven't ever read about before and it was such an interesting read. Throughout Leon's life he has been a sleepwalker, he doesn't know what he does in his sleep and he has been through therapy and with the help of a psychiatrist he has overcome his childhood sleepwalking, until stress, traumatic events and other unknown factors trigger his sleepwalking again… Mysteries unfold, secrets are revealed and horrors he didn't know about come to light. There are so many twists and turns I didn't see coming in this book, even though it's a relatively short read and it only took me less than two days to get through which is quite impressive to fit so much into a fairly short read at 352 pages. The writing style is very quick and easy to read, I didn't expect to get through it so quickly and I think I could have even finished the book in one day.

There were some very creepy and disturbing parts to this book as well as an overarching feeling of eeriness throughout which would make it perfect for Halloween. It's not really for the squeamish or faint hearted but I really liked it and enjoyed the mystery throughout. It does get a tiny bit confusing around 60% of the way through but the ending explains the majority of the events very well and I didn't fully see it coming. I would definitely recommend this book, unless you are a bit squeamish in which you will not like this book. Overall rating: 4/5

*Light by Bruno
I have been loving picture/illustrated books in between longer books as they make me feel like I'm getting through more books; they are great refreshing reads. I love the illustrations in this little, quick book - the illustrations are minimalist but so striking and the two main little characters are so adorable (one looks like a moomin!). I loved the adventure the cute characters progress through and it was a great refreshing book in between the emotionally heavy books I've been reading recently. Overall rating 4/5.

*Night Flight 
I was very kindly this book to review from the lovely people at Alma books; when I am lucky enough to be sent books to review I always try and find books that I wouldn't usually pick up and this is one of those. Firstly I love the cover and it has a almost rubberised feel to it like the latest UK Harry Potter paperbacks.

I think you would categorise this book as a modern classic as it was first published in French in 1931. The book follows the fictional journeys of mail pilots in south America; which sounds like something I wouldn't pick up for myself but it something my dad would love. It's a very short read, I managed to read in one sitting as it is only 110 pages.

I loved the descriptions of the weather, it was definitely my favourite part of the book especially the storms (although it must've been awful to fly through something like that). The book demonstrates how dangerous, lonely and terrifying it could be to be a pilot during that time, particularly during night flights, and how distressing it can be for the family of the pilots. The book is fiction but it's based on the authors experiences as a pilot. I liked the book overall however one thing I didn't like was the character Riviere who was such an annoying, narcissistic and repetitive character, in my opinion. Other than that I think it's a great little read and I definitely recommend it for all the descriptions of the weather, the atmosphere and on the journeys of the pilots. Overall rating 4/5. 

*The Suicide Shop

I have been reading a couple of shorter books this month which is fantastic for getting through my reading goals for the year; also they're great in between longer/heavier books. The book follows the Tuvache Family who live in a future/dystopian France. They own the suicide shop which as the name would suggest sells all kinds of products for people to commit suicide with for example: rope, poisons and swords. In this world there isn't a lot of happiness and everything is grey/no one seems to be very happy...that is until Alan is born.

The writing is a little bit blunt but it is such a quick, fast-paced and enjoyable read. It does deal with such a emotional topic but it's done in a noir comedy kind of way which I love. I loved the story and the characters especially Alan.

I watched the film, which is an animated/cartoon film, before reading the book so I kind of knew what was going to happen but the book is quite different in places compare to the film. The film is in French, but you can find the film with English subtitles. I'd definitely recommend watching the film and reading the book. I think Tim Burton would have been an amazing director for the film and I think if they remade it then he would be amazing as the director – if you like Tim Burton films/stories and dark comedy then you will love this. 4/5

*Whispers Through The Megaphone 
The book follows Miriam, her past, present and how she wants to change for the future. It also follows her opposite in many ways, Ralph, who is living an ordinary but ultimately unfulfilled life with a wife and two teenage boys; homosexuality is relatively prominent throughout the book which I'm a fan of as I don't tend to read books with gay characters and I want to expand the diversity of the books I read. Ralph and Miriam meet under quite unusual circumstances, which is the case for the rest of the book, and I love the relationship they have - it's platonic which is a change from the rest of the books I've been reading recently. It was interesting to find out about Miriam's life, how she is now in which she hasn't left her home for three years and her relationships with friends and her mentally ill mother who has passed away. I love the writing style, it's quite unusual in a simplistic and 'train of thoughts' kind of way but it is very easy to read even though it deals with a couple of heavy issues such as mental illnesses, secrets, suicide and dysfunctional families of a sort.

I loved Miriam, Ralph, Eric and his family as well as Boo, they are all such interesting, unique, quirky and sweet characters that I could easily see in an independent, slow and kooky British film but then there is Sadie who to put it bluntly is a bit of a bitch - I really didn't like her character and I also didn't like Miriam's mum because of how Miriam had to grow up but she did have mental health issues so I have to forgive her. The only main point about this book that I hated were the six pages that made up chapter 45, I wish chapter 45 was completely different, as it was like reading a completely different book, but sadly it's in there. 

*Nevernight by Jay 

I haven't read anything by this author before but I always hear American YouTubers rave about this book. Firstly I love the cover, although I haven't a copy but I think I will have to get the physical copy soon. The book follows Mia, a high born girl who has had to watch her father die and now her family is captured. She stumbles across an old man who has a lot of secrets and he teaches her over the years to become an apprentice assassin. We follow her journey, which is an adventure to say the least, through deserts with sand monsters and trials with other assassins as well as so much more. 

I didn't know what to expect but I loved his writing style as it was very easy to read and even though the book is nearly 450 pages I managed to get through it in a couple of days. I loved Mia's character, even though she is quite crude, rude and has a bit of an attitude. I loved her journey, it was full of adventure, love, friendship, murder…and lots of blood. It was kind of like Hogwarts, only if it was filled with assassins, sex scenes, lots of swearing and for want of a better word, sassiness. 

I loved the story, it's such an entertaining, interesting and to an extent magical world albeit a gruesome, horrific at times and bloody world with some truly horrifying and grotesque individuals in it, and that's not even the assassins.

If you can handle all the blood, gore, murder and so much more then this is a fantastic, unputdownable read! I wasn't crazy about the ending though, I wish certain two people would have survived. It would be perfect for the autumn and Halloween time because as you can probably gather by now there is a lot of murder and gore throughout this book as well as some rather crude symbolism (the blood pool...). I think this would be great for those who love stories involving adventure, trials and characters learning to control their abilities and obviously murder, vengeance and a bit of love thrown in there too. Oh and did I mention that shadows can move, everything may not be what it seems and the horrors of Godsgrave will await you, if you are brave, or foolish enough, to wander the streets alone. Overall rating 4/5.

Dr Knox by
First up, I just want to say how much I adore the cover - it drew me in instantly and it's one of the reasons I wanted to check it out on Netgalley (most of these books are Netgalley arcs). The book follows Dr Knox, obviously, he is an incredibly lovely, well meaning and devoted doctor who goes above and beyond with his patients...too much so with a couple of patients who rush into his clinic at the end of the day who bring with them a mystery that he feels compelled to solve. 

The writing is so quick and easy to read, too much so I think as it is really quite blunt (e.g.: I did this, then I did that). Also the story was quite slow in my opinion and for the first time ever, I found myself skim reading parts quite a lot but I did want to find out the whole mystery with Alex and his mother which to be honest was the only thing keeping me reading. The book does deal with crime, murder, rape, gangs and more so If you might be triggered by those themes when maybe don't pick this one up. I liked the ending, the premise and the mystery but I think it had a lot of problems for me personally. I think a book format isn't the best outlet for this story - a TV show or movie would have been ten times more appropriate and much more entertaining/gripping. Overall rating: ★★☆☆☆, 2/5. 

Those are the majority of the books I read in September, I have managed to read a couple more but I'll include them in my October book review post as this one is already really long! 

Have you read any of these books? What have you been reading currently? 

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