With everything that went on in March I struggled to keep up with reading a lot, however, I still managed 4 books so I’m pleased with that!
That takes my year total so far up to 9! How many have you read and do you have a goal for 2020? Let me know below!
First up was…
The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell
Be careful who let you in…
In a large house in London’s fashionable Chelsea, a baby is awake in her cot. Well-fed and cared for, she is happily waiting for someone to pick her up.
In the kitchen lie three decomposing corpses.
Close to the is a hastily scrawled note.
They’ve been dead for several days.
Who has been looking after the baby? And where did they go?
I devoured this book, it was intense and incredible, 100% worth a read!
Star rating: 5/5 (can I go higher?!)
Next up was…
Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams
A darkly comic and bitingly subversive take on life, love, race and family. Queenie will have you nodding in recognition, crying in solidarity and rooting for this unforgettable character every step of the way.
This one really annoyed me, I really wanted to love it because of the reviews I had read, but there was something about the supporting characters that really got on my nerves.
And for me, Queenie only had a few shining moments that kept me interested in the story but honestly, I could have gladly put this one down.
Star rating: 2.5/5
Recommend: You might as well give it a go and let me know what you think.
Third on my list was…
The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe (Translated by Lilit Zekulin Thwaites)
“It wasn’t an extensive library. In fact, it consisted of eight books… But they were books. In this incredibly dark place, they were a reminder of less sombre times, when words rang out more loudly than machine guns…”
Fourteen-year-old Dita is one of the many imprisoned by the Nazis at Auschwitz-Birkenau. But Dita becomes the secret librarian of the camp, tasked with taking charge of the small collection of precious books the prisoners have managed to smuggle past the guards.
But books are extremely dangerous. They make people think. And nowhere are they more dangerous than in Block 31 of Auschwitz, where the slightest transgression can result in execution, no matter how young the transgressor…
I was hoping to enjoy this as much as I enjoyed the other heartbreaking stories of Auschwitz, however, this one was the toughest one yet. The truly inspirational story of Dita was heartwrenching to read but was a worthy cause for the story.
I also think perhaps I should have given it a bit of time between the two. I might try it again in a few months and see how it goes.
Star rating: 3/5
Recommend: I would, but be warned, it is a very hard read.
And lastly, (only half-finished as I lost interest) was…
Lock In by John Scalzi
Fifteen years from now, a new virus sweeps the globe. Most of those afflicted experience nothing worse than fever and headaches. A few suffer acute meningitis, creating the largest medical crisis in history. And 1 per cent find themselves ‘locked in’ – fully awake and aware but unable to move or respond to stimulus.
It may not seem like a lot. But in the US that’s 1.7 million people ‘locked in’… including the president’s wife and daughter.
Spurred by grief and the sheer magnitude of the suffering, America undertakes a massive scientific initiative. Nothing can fully restore the locked in, but two new technologies emerge to help. One is a virtual-reality environment, ‘The Agora’, where the locked in can interact with other humans. The second is the discovery that a few rare individuals have brains that are receptive to being controlled by others, allowing the locked in to occasionally use their bodies as if they were their own.
This skill is quickly regulated, licensed, bonded, and controlled. Nothing can go wrong. Certainly, nobody would be tempted to misuse it, for murder, for political power, or worse…
This one was recommended to me by my boyfriend. In my opinion, it was a good idea of a story, however, I struggled with the beginning and lost interest towards the end.
Again, I really wanted to enjoy this book, however, I think for me, it’s just a little too sci-fi for me to really enjoy it.
Also, with the global pandemic currently going on it felt a little too close to home! I might try the ending again once this is all over…
Star rating: 3/5
Recommend: If you love sci-fi then yes!
Let me know if you’ve read any of these and what your thoughts are on them!