Tag: review

How Not To Be a Boy Review

How Not To Be a BoyTitle: How Not To  Be a Boy

Author: Robert Webb

Genre: Memoir

Series: n/a

Goodreads Rating: 4.26/5

Goodreads Link

Synopsis: Rules for being a man:
Don’t Cry; Love Sport; Play Rough; Drink Beer; Don’t Talk About Feelings

But Robert Webb has been wondering for some time now: are those rules actually any use? To anyone?

Looking back over his life, from schoolboy crushes (on girls and boys) to discovering the power of making people laugh (in the Cambridge Footlights with David Mitchell), and from losing his beloved mother to becoming a husband and father, Robert Webb considers the absurd expectations boys and men have thrust upon them at every stage of life.

Hilarious and heartbreaking, How Not To Be a Boy explores the relationships that made Robert who he is as a man, the lessons we learn as sons and daughters, and the understanding that sometimes you aren’t the Luke Skywalker of your life – you’re actually Darth Vader.

How Not To Be a Boy by Robert Webb Elaine Howlin Literary Blog

What I thought about the book:  I loved this! I have never wanted to reread a memoir but I will definitely be rereading this.

I listened to the audiobook narrated by Robert Webb himself (best way to experience a memoir). His narration is wonderful and the audiobook features a very entertaining and interesting interview at the end about some topics raised in the book.

It leaves you with so much to think about concerning gender and stereotyping while still being very entertaining.

“The great thing about refusing to feel feelings is that, once you’ve denied them, you don’t have to take responsibility for them. Your feelings will be someone else’s problem – your mother’s problem, your girlfriend’s problem, your wife’s problem. If it has to come out at all, let it come out as anger. You’re allowed to be angry. It’s boyish and man-like to be angry.”
― Robert Webb, How Not To Be a Boy

My Rating: 5 star review

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Google | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Easons | Waterstones | Dubray

Image result for amazon audible banner

Synopsis from Goodreads. Photos from my Instagram @elainehowlin_

I am Heathcliff – Kate Mosse Review

I Am HeathcliffTitle: I am Heathcliff

Editor: Kate Mosse

Genre: Short Stories

Series: n/a

Goodreads Rating: 3.7/5

Goodreads Link

Synopsis: 16 modern fiction superstars shine a startling light on the romance and pain of the infamous literary pair Heathcliff and Cathy.
Short stories to stir the heart and awaken vital conversation about love.

Sixteen stories inspired by Wuthering Heights.

In ‘Terminus’ a young woman hides in an empty Brighton hotel; in ‘Thicker Than Blood’ a man sits in a hot tub stalking his newly-married love on social media; and in ‘A bird half-eaten’ an amateur boxer prepares for a match.

A woman recalls the ‘Heathcliffs I Have Known’ and the physical danger she has borne at their hands; in ‘Anima’ a child and a fox are unified in one startling moment of violence; and in ‘One Letter Different’ two teenagers walk the moors and face up to their respective buried secrets.

Curated by Kate Mosse and commissioned for Emily Brontë’s bicentenary year in 2018, these fresh, modern stories pulse with the raw beauty and pain of love and are as timely as they are illuminating.

The full list of contributors is:
Leila Aboulela, Hanan Al-Shaykh, Joanna Cannon, Alison Case, Juno Dawson, Louise Doughty, Sophie Hannah, Anna James, Erin Kelly, Dorothy Koomson, Grace McCleen, Lisa McInerney, Laurie Penny, Nikesh Shukla, Michael Stewart and Louisa Young.

I Am Heathcliff edited by Kate Mosse Elaine Howlin Literary Blog

What I thought about the book:  

Fantastic collection of short stories inspired by Wuthering Heights. I enjoyed each one of the sixteen stories included which is rare for a short story collection. Some were inspired by themes in the novel and some were more like retellings but each one made a strong impression.

Some left me feeling uneasy, others made me angry and others left me feeling a bit disturbed. I highly recommend reading this whether you’re a fan of Wuthering Heights or not.

I listened to the audio version but I will be buying the print edition to reread and make notes.

My Rating: 5 star review

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Google | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Easons | Waterstones | Dubray

“Nelly, I am Heathcliff…”

Synopsis from Goodreads. Photos from my Instagram @elainehowlin_

Uprooted by Naomi Novik Review

UprootedTitle: Uprooted
 
Author: Naomi Novik
 
Genre: Fantasy
 
Series: N/A
 
Goodreads Rating: 4.11/5
 
 

Synopsis: “Our Dragon doesn’t eat the girls he takes, no matter what stories they tell outside our valley. We hear them sometimes, from travelers passing through. They talk as though we were doing human sacrifice, and he were a real dragon. Of course that’s not true: he may be a wizard and immortal, but he’s still a man, and our fathers would band together and kill him if he wanted to eat one of us every ten years. He protects us against the Wood, and we’re grateful, but not that grateful.”

Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life.

Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood.

The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows—everyone knows—that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia, all the things Agnieszka isn’t, and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her.

But Agnieszka fears the wrong things. For when the Dragon comes, it is not Kasia he will choose.

Uprooted by Naomi Novik Review Elaine Howlin Literary Blog

 
✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯ 
 

What I thought about the book:

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

This wonderful book centres on a village close to an (evil) enchanted wood that is protected from said wood by a wizard known as The Dragon (are you feeling all excited for the fairytale magic yet?). Every 10 years he visits the village and takes a girl back with him to his castle. No one in the village knows what he does with the girls just that when they return after the 10 years they are different and never stay in the village. This year he takes Agnie despite everyone believing he will take her more beautiful and skilled best friend, Kasia. But Agnie does something at the Choosing Ceremony that makes him feel he must take her.

Based on that much you’re probably expecting a Beauty and the Beast style fairytale romance but you ain’t getting it!

That wood I mentioned at the beginning is the real centre of this story. Its power is growing and it wants to consume as much of its surroundings as possible. Including people! There are creatures living inside it that torment and steal villagers from all areas around the wood. It separates one province from another and attempts to incite war between them which Agnie and the Dragon try to prevent. If you like magic and fantastical battles then this one is for you.

 
✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯
 
My Rating: 5 star review

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do… But You Could’ve Done Better Review

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do... But You Could've Done BetterTitle: Breaking Up Is Hard To Do… But You Could’ve Done Better
 
Author: Hillary Campbell
 
Genre: Humor
 
Series: N/A
 
Goodreads Rating: b
 
 

Synopsis: Anonymous break up stories from men and women, old and young, serious and silly and the cartoons that inspired them. Author and artist Hilary Campbell turns the painful into the hilarious, validating emotions from forgotten middle school tragedies to relationships that ended only hours ago.

Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and cartoonist. Her films have won top prizes at Slamdance, SF IndieFest, and more. She was the co-illustrator of Jessica Bennett’s critically acclaimed Feminist Fight Club.Breaking Up Is Hard To Do, But You Could’ve Done Better is her first book of cartoons.

 
✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯ 
 

What I thought about the book: Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Most of the stories are pretty cringe but some are funny. I especially like the one about the guy who upon being dumped by his girlfriend throws his game boy at her head and runs away barefoot!

Overall though they are more….uncomfortable than humorous.

Probably be good for anyone going through a break-up.

 
✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯
 
My Rating: 3 star review
 
Get the book: Amazon / Book Depository

buy now on Book Depository


Little Moments of Love Review

Little Moments of LoveTitle: Little Moments of Love
 
Author: Catana Chetwynd
 
Genre: Comics
 
Series: n/a
 
Goodreads Rating: 4.07/5
 
 

Synopsis: Soppy meets Sarah’s Scribbles in this sweet collection of comics about the simple, precious, silly, everyday moments that make up a relationship.

What began as stray doodles on scraps of paper became an internet sensation when Catana Chetwynd’s boyfriend shared her drawings online. Now, Catana Comics touches millions of readers with its sweet, relatable humor. Little Moments of Love collects just that – the little moments that are the best parts of being with the person you love.

 
✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯ 
 
What I thought about the book: I loved this!! It was just so sweet and cute and so relatable.
Image result for catana comics
It would make a lovely little gift for your significant other and you can both giggle over how cute you are.
 
✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯
 
My Rating: 5 star review
 
Get the book: Amazon / Book Depository

 

buy now on Book Depository