The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains by Neil Gaiman

Today I am going to be reviewing a graphic novel! This is the first graphic novel that I’ve read and it was by none other than Mr Neil Gaiman. I have heard a lot about this author, yet I have never actually read any of his books. When I saw this on bookbridgr, I immediately requesting it just because it was by Neil Gaiman. A lot of people say that his writing is amazing but confusing and this was definitely clear. This will be a very short review because honestly, I don’t have much to say about it. This book is released on the 17th June.

I went into this book expecting it to be scary as the cover is quite scary. Honestly, I don’t do very well with scary things so I was a bit hesitant. However, it turned out to not be very scary and I very much enjoyed it. I went into this book not knowing what it’s about and I liked not knowing what it’s about. I suggest you do the same. The summary of the book itself is very vague, probably on purpose.

The storyline of this book was actually really interesting however because it was only a short story, I couldn’t bring myself to become very immersed into the book or care for any of the characters. It was just a really nice, slightly gruesome and freaky, short story that I did quite enjoy. The writing was beautiful and mesmerizing. Neil Gaiman definitely lived up to my high expectations of him.

The art of this was beautiful. The art is done by Eddie Campbell, who admittedly I had never heard of before. The art is freaky and scary but this went along with the story. At times, I found myself turning the page and not even going straight to the writing and just staring at the art for 10 minutes. It was so beautiful and striking. You couldn’t help not staring at it because it was so bold. Definitely loved the art.

Overall I would give this graphic novel/short story 3.5 stars because even though I enjoyed it, I couldn’t bring myself to love it. This is not due to the writing or the art, it was just simply because of the shortness of it. If it was longer, I’d love it. I will definitely be reading another Neil Gaiman book in the future. Go get this book when it’s published if you are a fan of Neil Gaiman, short stories and graphic novels.

Sofia

Boy21 by Matthew Quick

Recently, I was lucky enough to read Boy21 by Matthew Quick and I loved it. This book is set to be released on the 19th June and I recieved it via headline and bookbridgr so thank you very much. This book follows Finley, who doesn’t live a perfect life. His home life and his past aren’t the best and he lives in a terrible neighbourhood. But he keeps going because of his girlfriend Erin and his love for basketball. Then a guy called Russ arrives in his life and he’s a bit strange. He answers only to Boy21 and he claims to be from outer space. Russ is also one of the best high-school basketball players in the country and could easily take Finley’s place on the team. However against the odds, Russ and Finley become friends and they help each other out when dealing with their pasts and their futures. I honestly really loved this book as a whole and I really recommend it.

This is the second Matthew Quick novel I’ve read, the first being Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock(click here to read my review of it) and I absolutely love his writing. Matthew Quick deals with a lot of big issues in his novels and even though they are dark and intense subjects, he still makes you laugh a lot. His writing makes you want to keep reading, which hardly happens for me when it comes to contemporary novels. I really want to read his other books now and there is a chance he could make it on to my list of favourite authors.

Finley was a great main character. He had issues yet I loved that about him. He never annoyed me or irritated me. I understood all of his decisions and I really sympathized with him. Russ was also a great character. He was odd and unusual and I didn’t understand him at first but as we got to know more about him, I really did care for him a lot. Their friendship was absolutely beautiful and reminded me a lot of Sam and Davey’s friendship in Cloud Busting by Malorie Blackman, which was my favourite book when I was younger. I also really loved most of the secondary characters including Erin, Coach and Wes.

I loved the whole Harry Potter book club thing that Wes, Russ and Finley started. They mentioned Harry Potter in the second half of the novel to compare their lives and I loved that. When they talked about escaping, they said that they were going to Hogwarts. Hogwarts had always been some what of an escape for me and I loved that a lot.

As I said earlier, Matthew Quick touches on a lot of dark subjects and issues in this book but I won’t tell you what they are because it’s best to not know what they are. Even though they were dark subjects, I still felt myself laughing and smiling throughout the book which is a unique thing that Matthew Quick can do. I honestly recommend this book to everyone as well as Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock because the writing is superb. This book is a solid 4.5 stars for me and the only thing that stopped me from giving it 5 stars was the ending. I really did love the ending, but I wanted more! I wanted to know what happens afterwards! This is a definitely a book that you should all be going out and buying on the 19th June because its fabulous. I’m going to leave you with one of my favourite quotes from this book because I don’t know why but this quote really stuck out for me:

“You don’t always get to pick the role you’e going to play in life, but it’s good to play whatever role you got the best way you can.”

Thanks for reading and definitely go get this book as soon as possible.

Sofia

 

Never Ending by Martyn Bedford

Recently, I was lucky enough to read Never Ending by Martyn Bedford and I’ve already finished it even though I only started it on Saturday. This book follows our main character called Shiv who is tormented by her brother’s death on their family holiday to Greece. She believes that she was the cause of his death so she is checked into the Korsakoff Clinic which has unconventional therapy techniques. This book was absolutely amazing and I just loved it. Let’s get into the review.

Shiv was a good main character. She is tormented by guilt and she does a lot of crazy things throughout the whole book. I felt a lot of sympathy towards her because she had experienced such a traumatic events. The things she had to deal with at the clinic were very tough. I honestly wouldn’t be able to deal with that if I was in her circumstances.

We were learning about her brother’s death and the events that were leading up to along the novel as some chapters were set during the trip. I loved these chapters but I got slightly frustrated. When something slightly cliffhangery happened at these chapters then we would jump back to her time at the clinic and I would want to know what happened next in the other chapters. Also, we had to wait until about three quarters into the book to find out how the brother actually died and it was very annoying but it made me keep reading.

All the characters in this novel were very well developed even the ones we weren’t meant to like. I loved Declan, Caron, Nikos, Mikey and even Dr Pollard. I really loved all of them and the development that each of these go through throughout the whole book was fabulous.

The settings of this book were fabulous. Kryritos and the Korsakoff were both so interesting to read about and I found myself wanting to read both. Sometimes in the book, I wanted to go back to the other setting but for most of it I loved the setttings we were in. The way that Bedford writes it keeps you intrigued even though not much really happens for quite a lot of the start, since she is just starting at the clinic.

The readers get to know Shiv before and after her brother’s death and we all get to know Declan as a character as well which was amazing. I really learned to love him as a character and when we actually read his death I felt very sad about it even though I knew it was coming. It was great to see a teenager who had a very close relationship with her brother because in YA you don’t see that much. Their relationship was great and at times it actually reminded me of my relationship with my brother.

I definitely recommend this book to anyone especially teenagers because you don’t find a book about this topic in YA much. I think most teenagers need to know how to live with grief and guilt and this book can help you to understand them.  I gave this book 4.75 stars and I really do recommend it to you all. You all need to read this book, seriously.

City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare

Yes, it’s a review for City of Heavenly Fire. The book is finally here. I’ve waited so long for this day and I’ve read it all. I have so much to say about this book and honestly I can’t write a non-spoilery review for this book because I need to discuss everything in this book. So if you haven’t read the whole Mortal Instruments series and the whole Infernal Devices trilogy, here’s where you leave. But seriously read Cassandra Clares’ books because they are absolutely fabulous and they improve a lot. Don’t give up after City of Bones, they improved so much. Now go if you haven’t read it because so many spoilers. This review is going to be all over the place because there is so much to talk about.

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick

Hey guys! Today, I’m going to be reviewing Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick. This was the first Matthew Quick book I read but I absolutely adored it! I will definitely be picking up The Silver Linings Playbook as soon as I can. Now let’s start with the overall non-spoiler review.

Going into this book after having read the summary, I was expecting it to be very depressing and at parts it was. However, the book as a whole was funny. Leonard was an amazing narrator with a lot of character and I really cared for him. This book focused on him and I loved that. It was weird to be in the mind of someone who wanted to commit suicide but I feel like this book made me more aware of the issue and made me aware that what I can do can affect someone a lot and I hope I never be mean to anyone in the way that some of the classmates were to Leonard. The supporting characters weren’t as well developed however except for Lauren and Herr Silverman. I wish we would have seen more of Walt or Baback. I also wish that we would have got to seen his mother a little bit more, I would have liked to see them happy at the end.

This book deals with a lot of major issues that we are all aware of but try to hide and I loved that. We try to disguise all the problems that teenagers go through but this book handled them straight on. This allowed us to see these issues first hand and in some way, feel what it’s like to go through them. It allowed us to see why people want to commit suicide and what happens to people who go through traumatizing events. Matthew Quick write brilliantly and it felt as if he really knew about the subjects in his book.The thing about this book is that Leonard is doing something that none of us really like and we don’t like to know about it but when you’re in his head, you can see where he’s coming from and why he wants to do that. It’s a scary thought but you start to understand why people commit suicide.

This book was slow to start with and I found the writing style to be odd to start with. The book had footnotes! Having read mainly YA, I’ve never really come across footnotes in books that I read for pleasure. Once you get into the book, however it will grip you and you will fall in love with Matthew Quick’s writing. I sure did!

Overall, I’d give this book 4 stars as I did really enjoy it but I just can’t bring myself to give it 5 stars, because it wasn’t one of my absolute favourites.  I do however recommend it to anyone and everyone! This book will really help you to understand the problems many young teenagers go through.

Panic by Lauren Oliver

I am determined to write a proper review today so I thought I’d choose the last book I finished which was Panic by Lauren Oliver. I am a big fan of Lauren Oliver’s writing having read her Delirium trilogy which I absolutely adore. However going into Panic I was a bit hesitant since it hadn’t had the best reviews. However, I did end up really loving it. Overall, I really enjoyed the writing and the plot and I would give it 4 out of 5 stars. Let’s start with the full spoiler-free review.

Panic is all about a series of tough challenges that are created to make the competitors, well panic. Reading about these challenges terrified me because they were all so scary! I couldn’t even begin to imagine doing them for myself. This may have been just me, but when they starting doing the challenges I was always confused with what they had to do. It might have been just me not paying enough attention but I kept saying “Why are they in water?” and “What is she doing in the road?”. Carrying on from that, the start of this book really confused me because it started out during a challenge but then went back in time to the start of the challenge. The first few pages were confusing but once I got past them, I was so engrossed and I didn’t want to put it down. The challenges made the book suspenseful and intense and I loved that!

Heather was an excellent main character. She was strong and she dealt with all the various issues she had to deal with throughout the whole novel. Participating in Panic, she went through quite a lot with the tough challenges. On top of that she also went through a lot of personal issues in her life. I really admired the fact that she could deal with both challenges at the same time and not go crazy.

Since it is a Lauren Oliver book, there was a range of amazing supporting cast such as Nat and Bishop. But the other main character was Dodge. Dodge I didn’t really understand and whenever it was one of his chapters, I was counting the pages until Heather’s next chapter. I probably would have enjoyed this book a lot more if it was just in Heather’s perspective. Dodge does go through a lot and he is probably the most determined to win but I just couldn’t connect to him. All of her characters had their own unique story and I loved that. Bishop was a great character and I honestly wish we knew more about him and I wish we explored him better. Actually I would have liked it, if the book was split between Heather’s and Bishop’s POV instead of Dodge’s because it would have given us as readers a sense of dramatic irony.

What I really enjoyed about this book was the lack of romance. Most YA books have a romance as a central story that keeps popping up everywhere but in Panic the romance was very much on the down low. There still was one but the book focused more on the challenges and I loved that. When I went into it, I wanted romance since I’d been reading romance for a while beforehand but there was simply no space for anymore romance in the story when most of the story is all about tough challenges.

For anyone who has read Requiem, you will probably have experienced the fact that Lauren Oliver isn’t exactly the best at writing endings to stories and this unfortunately showed in Panic. I found the ending to be a bit of a cop out and slightly rushed. If the book was a little bit longer, it could have been almost perfect.

Overall, I really enjoyed this novel and Lauren Oliver’s writing but I wanted a better ending! A solid 4 out of 5 stars to this novel and I definitely recommend it to anyone who likes action and suspense.