The Muse by Jessie Burton

This book wouldn’t have come to my attention if it wasn’t for this review, but now it has definitely been added to my summer reading list!

A Little Blog of Books

The Muse Jessie Burton‘The Muse’ by Jessie Burton tells the story of a young Trinidadian woman Odelle Bastien who lands a job as a typist at the prestigious Skelton art gallery in London in 1967, five years after she moved to the city. Odelle’s new boyfriend Lawrie has recently inherited a painting rumoured to be the work of Isaac Robles, a talented young Spanish artist who mysteriously disappeared during the Civil War in the 1930s. The painting causes quite a stir at the Skelton and Odelle’s enigmatic boss, Marjorie Quick, appears to have a personal interest in the painting as well as a professional one. Odelle sets out to uncover the true origins of the lost masterpiece whose secrets lie with the wealthy Anglo-Austrian Schloss family who employed Isaac’s sister Teresa as their housekeeper in Malaga at the beginning of the war.

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To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

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Title: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

Author: Jenny Han

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books

Published: April 15th 2014

Pages: 288

★★

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister’s ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all…

I picked up this book with very, very high expectations. With a title and description like that, why wouldn’t you? I envisioned a deep, complicated romance, with high character profiles and lots of drama. Although probably my fault for not trying a sample first (perks of having an ereader), this book did not meet my expectations whatsoever. I wouldn’t class this as my kind of book (there are some annoying spelling mistakes for a start), but I did enjoy some parts. As it goes, I was really pleased with the ending, and how it leads on to the next book in the series – however, I will not be reading it in a hurry.

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Hawaiian Heartbreak

hh_medTitle: Hawaiian Heartbreak

Author: Libby Cole

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Published: September 2nd 2015

Pages: 98

★★★★

So I was asked to review this book by the author and I’m so glad I took up the opportunity. This is a short book, so I finished it pretty quickly, and I never wanted it to end. I have to say the writing style of this author is very descriptive and gripping. I felt like I was having the holiday romance myself! I couldn’t put it down! I haven’t read a romance like this really since Fifty Shades came out and I pretty much had enough then, but this was completely different. I felt like this wasn’t just about the love, it was also about the travel adventure, and it has definitely made me want to visit Hawaii as soon as I can!

The author clearly knows a lot about Hawaii, and part of the story is also a love affair with the island, not just Jay. Also, can I just say, where can I find my own Jay?! Read More »

Perception

Perception

Title: Perception

Author: Lee Strauss

Publisher: ESB Publishing

Published: September 12th 2012

Pages: 313

★★★★

Zoe is a genetically altered person (GAP), she has been altered so that she will live a lot longer. Her life would be pretty perfect; lots of friends, a boyfriend, a loving brother, a lovely house and lots of money. But this gets turned upside down. I read this book in one day, it wasn’t very long but there was also the desire to find out what happened. You begin by wanting to know what happened to Liam, but this story isn’t just a search and rescue mission. The snippet of interaction between Liam and Zoe, and Zoe’s memories of him paint him in a very positive light. You can’t help but want to know what had happened to such a kind character. But then, as the story delves deeper, he seems crazy. How had he hidden his experiments from Zoe without her noticing? Apart from Liam, Zoe’s family are not very likeable. Neither is her boyfriend Jackson. Reading this story, you have to wonder what Zoe ever saw in him. The audience does not get the chance to engage with this character because he is portrayed rather negatively from the onset. Then there is Noah. Read More »

The DUFF

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Title: The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend

Author: Kody Keplinger

Publisher: Little Brown/Poppy

Published: January 1st 2010

Pages: 280

★★★

So, I’ve read the first 60 pages of this book, and the main character is so annoying. Does she fancy Wesley Rush? As indicated by snogging his face off every time she needs a distraction. Or does she hates him? Like she adamantly claims? She also annoys me how much she bottles everything up. I’m sat here screaming, “just tell him!” If I wasn’t so stubborn, I might have even considered giving up on the book, but I had to know what happened. Then as I get further into the story, and I finish it in one sitting, my opinion changes. This isn’t the best book I’ve ever read, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. There were moments when I was actually laughing out loud, or pulling a shocked face (much to the amusement of the guy sitting opposite me on the train), and there were moments when I was actually infuriated. Bianca, our main character, finally starts dating the guy of her dreams, and realises that he isn’t all she thought he would be. Yes he was sweet, kind, and forever complimenting her, but she just didn’t feel that passion. Isn’t this something we might all have experienced? Haven’t most of us at some point in our lives dated someone because we thought they were too nice to say no to?

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The Invisible Library

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Title: The Invisible Library

Author: Genevieve Cogman

Publisher: Tor UK

Published: January 15th 2015

Pages: 329

★★★★★

This was quite a different book for me to download, but it was 99p on Amazon and the reviews were positive so I thought it was worth a go. And wow was I impressed. This is one of the best books I have read in a long time. There is so much depth, especially with the way that everything ties in together.

Irene, our main character, is a spy for the Library. The Library is pretty much the centre of being; it is a timeless dimension that allows Librarians to travel to different worlds in alternate universes. Irene is assigned a new assistant called Kai for this adventure and they are sent to an alternate London. This London is infected with something called chaos, which means that the laws of nature allow supernatural creatures to take up residence, from mechanical centipedes, vampires and the Fae. There is also the complication of humans and how they have formed factions in this world, and this human interaction almost makes the story believable, until you throw in a vampire and a dragon and you are snapped back to reality.

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The Declaration

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Title: The Declaration

Author: Gemma Malley

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Published: October 2nd 2007

Pages: 320

★★★★

The dystopian future that this story is set in is a place where people live forever. Drugs have been discovered and nobody has children. Except Anna is a child. Anna is a surplus. She is surplus to the requirements of society.

Anna lives at Grange Hall, with many other surpluses and Mrs Pincent, a complex character that provokes both animosity and sympathy. Mrs Pincent has taught these children that they should not want for anything, because they are not worth it. And that is exactly how Anna feels. Anna hates her parents for bringing her into a world where she is not wanted. She truly believes that she is worthless and that the only life she will ever lead is one of a slave to somebody who is legal. This is how Anna will repay society for her parents’ mistakes.

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