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Heartstopper Vol 1 by Alice Oseman - Review

Sunday, July 31, 2022

I finally got round to reading Vol 1 of Heartstopper! I have of course seen the Netflix show, and LOVED it, Joe Locke and Kit Connor were perfect as Charlie and Nick, and I loved a bunch of the other characters too, including Tao and Elle (who I hope get together!) so I thought I should read the graphic novels. I requested them all from the library and they've come in all in the wrong order, so I waited until I got the first one before I started. I don't have the second one, and I can't renew the others again, so I will probably have to request them again... but oh well! I'll get there.

I've read other stuff by Alice Oseman before including Nick and Charlie, which is a novella about them, but it's quite a long time ago so I had forgotten a lot of what happened. I loved seeing stuff that happened in the first few episodes of the show and seeing them in context of the graphic novel. I liked the little details which didn't make it into the show, and stuff which had been written for the show and wasn't present in the graphic novel. I can't wait to read Vol 2! There's also a few pages of the script at the back of this book which was also cute to see. I'm giving this five out of five. 

I Know You Did It by Sue Wallman - Review

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Where did I get it? My friend Sam bought it for me for Christmas 

What's it about? Ruby Marshall is starting a new school a couple of weeks into her GCSE year. Ruby has had problems. When she was four, she was responsible for the death of a little girl, and it has followed her ever since. She was aggressive and often got into trouble at her old school, and after a memorial garden for the little girl was vandalised, suspicion fell on Ruby again. Now she and her mother have moved a little bit further away, and Ruby is determined to keep her head down and just get on with her exams. 

But on her first day at school, there's a note on her locker that says I KNOW YOU DID IT. Then a kid called Isaac starts bullying Ruby, and it turns out he has lots of rumours from an anonymous source. Some are true and some aren't, but they're all damaging Ruby.

Meanwhile, there's Scott, the main writer of the school newspaper, and some people who seem to be in thrall to him for some reason - Euan, Khalid, Naz, and Amber (I might be forgetting one). Ruby starts making friends with Euan, which I liked a lot. She starts to understand stuff about how the school works (in a One of Us us Lying kind of way). Then someone turns up dead and all eyes turn on Ruby... again.

I really liked this, I had previously read Your Turn to Die by Sue Wallman and liked that too, so was happy to get to this. I liked Ruby a lot as a character and understood her and her motivations. There's lots of twists and turns which kept me guessing.

Ruby's sister is off at university and I liked the strained relationship she had with her. Their mum has been ill which wavers throughout the novel too. All in all, it's very good. 

What age range is it for? 14 plus 

Are any main characters LGBTQ+? They're not main characters, but there are a couple of gay characters

Are any main characters people of colour? As above, they're not main characters but they are there 

Are any main characters disabled either mentally or physically? Yes, Ruby's mum 

Is there any sex stuff? No 

Are drugs mentioned or used? Yes, it's not a lot but yes 

Is there any talk of death? Yes, it is somewhat graphic 

Are there swear words? No I don't think so 


What criticisms do I have? Almost none, it kept me turning the pages 

Would I recommend the book? Yes absolutely 

Why did I choose to read it at this point in life? I had just pulled it out of my shelves to get to 


What do I think of the cover? I like it. My partner said it looked like I Know What You Did Last Summer, and it is intriguing 


What other books is it like? I can't think of any except One of Us is Lying, only British! 

How many stars? Four out of five 


Where is the book going now? I'll keep it!

Everything I Need I Get From You by Kaitlyn Tiffany - Review

Friday, July 22, 2022


I heard about this book on Tumblr, because it's about One Direction and I keep an eye on the fandom there. The book looks at the conspiracy theory that there is a hidden relationship between Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson, and some of the people who believe in that conspiracy theory were annoyed that the light had been shone upon them, basically. Plus a couple of people that I talk to, who live in reality and blog against "Larries", were also in the book and were happy about it. So I was interested in it and ordered myself a copy. 

I will say that I don't think the book was entirely successful in what it set out to do. I doubt it will find much of a readership outside the fandom, because it does rely on you knowing a lot about One Direction and the fandom. I didn't think the author did very well at explaining some things, and I relied a lot on prior knowledge. I also thought that in places she was giving entirely too much ground to Larries and their conspiracy theorist beliefs, without making it clear that those ideas just aren't true.

But I did like some of the stuff about finding a place on the internet and finding a home in a fandom. It's something that I've had happen continually to me throughout my life, and something I'm very grateful for. I did like the cute look at some of the weirder parts of 1D fandom and how funny things go viral within fandoms. I just thought the book was a little confused in scope. 

Inferno by Dan Brown - Review

Monday, July 18, 2022

I had to read this for book club, which I wasn't exactly thrilled about. I read all of Dan Brown's books over a decade ago and I have to admit I was very suckered in with all the theology, hidden clues, all of that stuff. My parents read them too, and then just my mum after my dad died in 2008. I bought Inferno when it came out but didn't read it, which is why I owned the hardback copy. I have moved on from this kind of literature, and I don't think Brown is a very good writer, so I would probably have never read this was it not for someone choosing it for book club. 

It took me over a week to read because I just found it so long and overwritten. But I got through it! Eventually! 

Robert Langdon wakes up in a hospital in Florence, with absolutely no memory of why he's there or what's happened to him. Before he can really collect himself and talk to the two doctors attending him, a spiky haired woman breaks into the ward and starts shooting, killing one of the doctors. The other one, Selena, helps Langdon escape and they go to her flat. Langdon wants to phone the US Consulate, which he does, and he also checks his Harvard email to see if there's any clue as to why he's in Florence. The government arrive quickly, in a black van with armed soldiers, which obviously alarms Langdon and Selena so they again escape, escaping the spiky haired woman too. It turns out that Langdon has a thing in his posession which depicts a painting of Dante's Inferno, but with several changes made. They go to a museum to follow clues, and then end up sprinting across Italy trying to work out what's happened. Of course.

Also there is of course a nefarious organisation covering up their part in what's going on, and a man following Langdon and Selena. These books are all so formulaic and at this point I am just over it. I didn't even think the clues were particularly good this time around! I will probably watch the film though, just to see if that's any better. 

The Amazing Edie Eckhart by Rosie Jones - Review

Wednesday, July 13, 2022


My friend Philippa mentioned that the comedian Rosie Jones had written a middle grade book, so I bought it soon after. Rosie has Cerebral Palsy herself, as does Edie! I've seen some of her comedy but don't know her super well, but I was excited to read her book. I am pleased to report that this is a gorgeous middle grade book, almost perfect in its execution. I really hope that there's a series as it would definitely lend itself to it! 

So Edie lives in Bridlington in Yorkshire (yay Yorkshire based books!) with her mum, dad, and little brother Louis. Her dad works long hours but the family is close knit. Edie has a best friend, Oscar, who is Black. Edie has cerebral palsy which makes her a bit "wobbly" on her feet. She often falls over but has quite a sense of humour about it. And Oscar is always there with a first aid kit and a replacement pair of tights.

Edie wants to be a writer so her mum encourages her to keep a diary. Edie and Oscar are about to start secondary school, but when they do, everything starts to change. Oscar joins the football team, then gets a girlfriend, Georgia, who doesn't seem to like Edie at all! Edie feels pretty scared to not have Oscar by her side, but her form tutor encourages her to try out for the school play. Edie tries to get over that she wants to write the school play, but no dice,

She meets a girl called Flora who is painting sets on the play, and the two become friends, and she makes friends with Georgia and her friends, which happens in such a lovely way. I liked how the girls showed a really positive form of girl friendship, instead of being awful to each other. Flora is mixed race too - I think her mum is Japanese - and I loved her. 

I also LOVED the ending, it was SO good, it's why I think there MUST be another book, because I want to see what happens next! Edie is such a good character and I just want more of her. I'm giving this five out of five because I loved it. 

Threepenny Memoir by Carl Barat - Review

Saturday, July 9, 2022

I've been a Libertines fan for nearly two decades now, and I regularly see them and their associated bands, and buy merch and stuff. Peter Doherty's memoir has just come out so I ordered it, and then realised that I've never read Carl's memoir, which came out in 2010. So I bought a copy on eBay and took it on holiday with me at the end of June to read. I really enjoyed it, but I feel like Carl would write a totally different memoir if he did it now. A lot of time has passed both professionally and personally and The Libertines got back together in 2014 and recorded a new album, and even now are talking about recording again and tour pretty often. Carl seems like a different person now, too, having mellowed quite a lot as he's got older. So I'd be interested in an update!

But I did enjoy this, there were a lot of stories that I didn't know beforehand, even though I do know a lot about the history of the band. There isn't a lot about the end of The Libertines, which was obviously painful for all concerned, but there was quite a lot about the end of Dirty Pretty Things, Carl's next band. I felt quite sad that he was sad about how they ended, it felt like Carl feels like they never got a fair shot at the cherry which isn't something I'd considered. 

The book is in quite a non linear fashion which didn't annoy me, but which I think reflects Carl's stream of consciousness way of writing. I could hear his voice in it a lot, which I liked. I'm giving this four out of five, I liked it!

A Girl Called Justice: The Ghost in the Garden by Elly Griffiths - Review

Monday, July 4, 2022

You all know by now that I love Elly Griffiths and all of her books, and I've been keeping an eye on her A Girl Called Justice series for a while. This is the third in the series, and I think it's improving all the time - Justice has a strong voice and character now, and seems to have settled into her school environment. In this book she's back at Highbury House, and there are plenty of new people there. There's a new girl in the form called Letitia, a new Matron, a new caretaker, and a new art teacher. 

Letitia latches on to Justice and puts a bit of a wedge between her and her best friend, Stella. The new art teacher makes the girls go outside to draw at one point. Letitia doesn't care for the rules of the school and seems to be getting away with not following them; the teachers don't tell her off. Even Justice realises some rules must be followed but can't seem to get through to Letitia. Then the girls have a midnight feast, and Letitia goes missing! 

Justice and Dorothy and Stella immediately try to find Letitia, uncovering some other secrets in the process! I thought this was a cute little mystery and I've now got the fourth to read too!

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