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5.11.18

The Book Wrap Up : October



It's that time of the month again - where I share about the books that I have read in the past month and I make some comment about how fast this year is going. I think we are pretty used to the process by now, so let's just jump into it!


It was a crazy busy month so reading was a bit slow, however I read some AMAZING books this month so it made up for the slowness, so let's just get into it now!

Friend Request : Laura Marshall 

** spoiler alert ** “Maria Weston wants to be friends!” There’s only one problem...Maria Weston died in 1989, so who could possibly be sending Louise a friend request in 2016? With the email request, years of long buried memories come bubbling to the surface. If the truth came out, Louise could lose everything - her job, her son, her freedom. The sudden reappearance of Maria threatens to break down all the walls Louise has worked so hard to put up. To put an end to it, Louise has to uncover the whole truth, start with who is behind the friend request.

I must admit, this book started quite slow. I was expecting to jump straight in and be hooked, but it took me a while. Maybe it was the book, maybe it was me...who really knows! In saying that I did really enjoy this book and was hooked for the last hundred pages or so when the truth all came out.

What I was surprised about was the ending - I did not expect the person who killed Maria to be the person that it was. Laura had me convinced throughout the book that Maria might be alive...I knew that couldn’t be the case (well part of me did) but I was convinced. I had been handed a little bit of double and had run with it, so when the truth came out I was completely shocked! I love a thriller that shocks me, so that was a big win for me!!

Overall, quite impressed! Would definitely recommend.
 

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Emma and the City : Amy Hilliges*

** spoiler alert ** It girl and blogger, Emma Worth, seems to have it all - beauty, brains, connections and a fabulous manhattan apartment. However there is something missing. As an a-lister swoops in to steal her heart, things around her begin to change. Is the man she’s looking for the one on the red carpet? Or maybe one closer to home.

I have to say, this was a really interesting look on the world of social media and rising popularity of internet fame. Some people will do whatever they can to be famous, it doesn’t matter who gets heart along the way. Emma did just that and to be honest, I hated her through most of the book. Each decision she made just seemed to be to help her social gain, yet she couldn’t see that she was ruining the lives of those around her.

It was a good book, light hearted and entertaining, but it didn’t wow me. I found the ending a bit predictable and it felt disjointed from the rest of the book - there wasn’t really much of Emma realising that she had hurt people and going through understand that, but rather a “oh I’ve hurt people, let me quickly apologise and everything will be fine”. She didn’t spend much time in that lonely, fragile phase and I think this made everything else seem a bit superficial - like it was handed to her.

Despite that, it was still a good book (hence the three stars), and the end was sweet, mushy and heart warming. Definitely one of the romantics out there.
 


Amazon | Book Depository | Booktopia 


A Spark of Light : Jodi Picoult

When Vonita opened the doors of the Center that morning, she had no idea it would be the last. Wren has a day off school to come to the Center, chaperoned by her Aunt Bex. Olive told her wife Peg that she was just coming in for a check up. Janine is undercover, a pro-life protestor I disguise. Joy needs to terminate her pregnancy. Louie is there to perform a service for these women, not in spite of his faith but because of it.

When a distraught and desperate gunman bursts into the Center, the lives of these people will change for ever.

Jodi Picoult bloody smashes it once again. This is the fastest I’ve read a book in a long time (one day if you’re curious), I just could not put it down. The story starts with the end of the day, before working backwards to unpack how all the people came to be there. Told from the perspective of everyone involved, you learn to understand how they became to be there and why the shooter burst in to change their lives forever. It is beautifully written, carefully addressing such a controversial issue in today’s society, but also exploring all the different perspectives - the women who want or need an abortion, the people who are pro-life and the doctors that do the procedure each and every day.

My only complaint is the ending, which felt rushed and I would’ve liked to have seen certain things unpacked a little bit more - particularly Beth and the comment she made about the man who got her pregnant (WHY THROW THAT IN AT THE END BUT NOT GIVE ME MORE)! I also would’ve liked to know how the shooters daughter would’ve responded had she known. In saying that, they were only little things and overall it was AMAZING! Another incredible book from an incredible author.


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Eggshell Skull : Bri Lee

If a single punch kills someone because of their thin skull, that victim's weakness cannot mitigate the seriousness of the crime. But what if it also works the other way? What if a defendant on trial for sexual crimes has to accept his 'victim' as she comes: a strong, determined accuser who knows the legal system, who will not back down until justice is done?

Bri Lee began her first day of work at the Queensland District Court as a bright-eyed judge's associate. Two years later she was back as the complainant in her own case. This is Bri’s story of her journey through the Australian legal system - first as a daughter of a policeman, then a law student, then a judges associate.

Ok. I’ll be honest. I did not expect to love this book like I did. I honestly didn’t want to put it down. Bri has a unique and powerful voice that you just didn’t want to stop listening too. While she’s telling the stories from the court cases she witnessed, you knew she was battling with her own demons and her own challenges and you were constantly wanting to hear more about these, in the hope that she would make it through. It was raw and honest and like no memoir I’ve ever read before. I can’t imagine the heartache that she would have gone through at the time, let alone having to write it all down again. But thank you Bri, for writing it down, for giving women a voice and for showing us that we can be powerful and we can be a force to be reckoned with.



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Clean : Juno Dawson

17 year old Lexi has hit rock bottom. After almost overdosing in heroin, her brother stages and an intervention and drops her off at the Clarity Centre, an island facility for troubled young people (aka Rehab). Inside, she meets a whole array of people - a transgender anorexic, Vicodin addict, OCD hoarder, an over eater and a washed up reality TV survivor. Over the weeks and months she is in the facility, Lexi begins to open up about her fractured childhood, destructive relationships and the dark secret she’s been running from. And then she falls in love. But is a relationship even possible in rehab?

As I was reading this (in my teacher brain) I was kind of shocked that this was a book aimed at young people. I couldn’t imagine it being appropriate for any of my young students or potentially even those a little bit older, but the more I read, the more I loved the story and the message that Juno Dawson is creating in Clean. It’s raw and it’s honest and it shows the real life, unedited effects of drugs. It also portrays addiction in a real honest light - being something that you can defeat until you accept and understand it. It is beautifully written, heartbreaking and so honest. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and can see why so many people have been absolutely raving about it! 


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Crazy Cupid Love : Amanda Heger* (coming January 2019)

When a single arrow inspires romance, can you really trust happily ever after? Eliza Herman (a.k.a. The World's Worst Cupid) has spent her entire life carefully avoiding her calling as a Descendant of Eros. But after a family emergency, she decides to step in. Eliza finds herself enchanting couples under the watchful eye of her assigned mentor, Jake Sanders...the one man she could never get out of her head. Before long, things start going wrong, enchantments don’t seem to work... Now Eliza and Jake must fight to unravel a conspiracy that could destroy thousands of relationships, including their own...and spell the end of Love itself.

Honestly, it was not what I was expecting - there was a little more “fantasy” in it than I’d original expected but to be honest it was possibly because I just didn’t read the description properly. But at the end of the day, it was a beautiful love story - not just between Eliza and Jake but the couples that came into Eliza’s life in need of a little nudge in the right direction. It is funny, honest and beautiful all at the same time. Big fan and would definitely recommend picking it up when it comes out next year!!


Amazon | Book Depository | Booktopia | Dymocks

A Danger to Herself and Others : Alyssa B Sheinmel* (coming February 2019)

Four walls. One window. No way to escape. Hannah knows there's been a mistake. She didn't need to be institutionalised. What happened to her roommate was not her fault. It was an accident. Now she just needs the doctors and judge to figure that and then she will be out of here.

Then Lucy arrives. Lucy has her own baggage. And she may be the only person who can get Hannah to confront the dangerous games and secrets that landed her in confinement in the first place.

A really interesting read and not quite what I expected it to be. In a world where mental health is so prominent, we need more books that show and explain different mental health problems with realness and rawness. We need to talk about them and this book does exactly that. Speaking honestly about a mental illness that I have honestly not heard much about, especially in books. Based almost solely in one room you get drawn into Hannah's story and feel her shock and heartbreak when the walls come tumbling down around her. I think it is a brilliant young adult book that is really important in today's society. It is raw and real and breaks down the whole process of coming to terms with a life changing challenge. Highly recommend!


Amazon | Book Depository | Booktopia | Dymocks

Feminist's Don't Wear Pink and other lies : curated by Scarlett Curtis

Feminism has always been a concept that I have been really unsure about. I never wanted to refer to myself as a feminist because I associated angry, hippy women that are protesting in rally’s and getting all up in arms about men, sharing things I don’t really agree with. I have never read a book about feminism, but something about this book intrigued me and I’m glad I read it.

“Feminists don’t wear pink and other lies” is a collection of writings from extraordinary women - from actresses and activists, to influencers and authors. Each woman shares what feminism means to them and how it manifests in their life. All the stories were different and while I didn’t love all of them, it was really interesting to read all the different perspectives. Would definitely recommend reading - a must read for all women!

Amazon | Book Depository | Booktopia | Dymocks

So I may not have got through as many books as I wanted but there was some damn good books in the mix. What books did you read this month? Any amazing ones that I need to pick up? xx
 


*DISCLAIMER – Products with * have been sent for trial/review purposes. Although this product was sent for me to trial and review, all views and opinions are 100% honest. All opinions are based purely from my own experiences. The Life of Laura is not by a professional or expert. Please do not confuse my opinions with professional advice.

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