Book reviews of 2015

If you know anything about me at all, you will know how much of a book worm I truly am. From a very young age I've been obsessed with books and have been an avid reader since I learnt how to read. It has always been something that calms me down, lets me relax and escape the world that is currently whirling by. Being such a keen reader and seeing the massive benefits of reading, I want to encourage Charlie in every way that I can to love books and stories as much as I do.
This year I have managed to complete a total of 8 books, currently in to my ninth. On Goodreads I have set a target of 35 books as my 2015 reading challenge, I'm so pleased with how far in to that I am. Some of these books are absolutely brilliant, so here is a short review of each.

Elizabeth Is Missing, Emma Healey (link)

The first book I started and completed in 2015 and I loved it. The book kept me hooked from start to finish and I was so intrigued as to how the story would develop and end. The book is about an elderly women called Maud who is slowly losing herself to Dementia. She finds notes referring to her friend Elizabeth who is missing. The story is split between her present and her past surrounding around the disappearance of her older sister Sukey. I loved the difference between generations and thought it was written really well. The subject of dementia was handled in such a way that really gave an insight in to both the sufferer and those who have to watch and care for someone they love. The mystery in this book is great and is definitely something I recommend to anyone looking for a good, engaging read.
4 out of 5

The Boy That Never Was, Karen Perry (link)

I picked this book up in my local Sainsburys. I was intrigued by the blurb and fancied something a little different. Poorly written and without much connection to the characters it really was only through the need to know the truth about what really happened in their past in Tangier that kept me reading. I did although really enjoy the two viewpoints of Harry and Robin, it broke up the story which helped me to read on. Harry was an alcoholic and Robin was just someone who put up with it, there wasn't any love there and you could clearly see that there hadn't been for a long time which is why it was hard to see why they were still together. All of that just added to the lack of readability of the characters. The ending was hard to follow and felt like it went on for ages,especially with all the different viewpoints of their story. I kept having to read back and forth to see who was talking, who was where and in what state, none of this helps when trying to reach the climax. 
All in all it was a good read, I was engaged to the plot line I just felt it could of been orchestrated better.
2.5 out of 5

Station Eleven, Emily St John Mandel (link)

With all the hype surrounding this book and not reading anything similar before I was really excited to start reading Station Eleven. I was encaptured early on in the story of Arthur and Jeevan and then in the tale of Kirsten and The Travelling Symphony and then with Clark and Miranda. I have never read a book where there are so many storylines interlinking throughout. In the middle I started to get frustrated and wanted to read faster through what I thought were just filler chapters to find out what was to come of everything. Something I didn't enjoy about the story was that there wasn't a main storyline or character and even though I was attached to each person a lot of it felt unnecessary.
I was disappointed with the ending, hoping for more. However I really enjoyed reading the last chapter on Arthur and his view on his last days on earth, especially when he was such a character through everyone else. The best part of this story is the setting, you really are put in the world without any of the things we think of as necessities. The whole chapter about what would no longer work or be experienced if an epidemic actually spread. It was thought provoking and chilling to read. The reality of a flu like the 'georgia flu' is something I hate to think about but it could happen any day which is what is most realistic about the book. Overall I really wanted to love this book more but I just wasn't attached to it like I wanted to be. I could easily put it down or get distracted which is never a good thing.
3.5 out of 5

Attachments, Rainbow Rowell (link)

After reading a couple of intense storylines I wanted to sink in to a story where I could fall in love with the characters and the plot and easily float through. I couldn't of picked a better one. The love story between Lincoln and the screen was written so well and the book flowed perfectly from his point of view to the emails between Beth and Jennifer. You became attached (see what I did there) to all of the characters really quickly which is great for a book where most of the characters don't actually have a conversation in person. With witty one liners that made me giggle out loud the tone was light and it was so easy to sit and turn the pages until I was pulled away by reality. The best thing about how engaging the book was were the super short chapters, I kept thinking I'll read another its only a couple of pages, it kept the book on a really easy pace that was so brilliantly written.
The ending was so storybook like, and it fitted in brilliantly with Beths character, I was so pleased with the ending and felt a little sad when it was all over. I want to know more about what happens to all the characters that I've come to know.
5 out of 5

Fangirl, Rainbow Rowell (link)

Contrary to most I really didn't like Fangirl. I love Rainbow Rowell but everything about this book annoyed me, I really had to push through to finish it. Reading the blurb and hearing the gist of the story I thought there would be many more challenges for Cath in her first year of college but no. Any issue that was mentioned for example her anxiety came across to me false and rude, her issues with her sister Wren were silent and then resolved, the way she treated others yet they still adored her. It was just unrealistic. My dislike for Cath and the idea of fanfiction I think fuels my dislike for the book but I felt like there was no real plot line. Any story line brought in never really ended, one of those being how she actually ended writing the 'carry on' which was probably the biggest part of the book. Her stubborn attitude to writing fiction compared to fan fiction only annoyed me and I wanted to shake her and tell her to stop being so childish. Being someone who actually suffers with anxiety I felt offended with how the subject was handled. I thought the whole book was pointless and immature even for a YA.
0 out of 5

The Silent Sister, Diane Chamberlain  (link)

From the minute I picked up this story I literally didn't put it down. I am a huge fan of Diane Chamberlain, her books draw me in like no other and a couple of my top favourite books are hers. Her books are so engaging and I am stuck in her plot until its finished. I loved the idea of this story, it kept me guessing throughout and I was really happy when my predictions came true. I truly felt for the characters and Chamberlain has a way of making them so realistic you feel that you know them inside out. It all tied up nicely and I was really happy with the ending. One thing I particularly liked was that the character Lisa/Jade was gay. It is something that isn't common in a lot of fiction and it was portrayed in such a normal, subtle way exactly like it should be. The only criticism was that it got a bit repetitive at parts but was still really engaging.
4.5 out of 5

The Cuckoo's Calling, Robert Galbraith (link)

All hail the queen that is JK Rowling. You can easily see her style in these books but the fact that it is her that wrote this new detective series doesn't make it any less of a great book. I've never really been in to crime novels, but I wanted a new series to sink in to and I am so glad I choose this one. I must admit that at the end I had to find company in Ben as I got spooked by the story line that just goes to show to realistic it is. Being raised by a mother who is obsessed with Miss Marple and Poirot and every other detective under the sun I have quite an eye for the 'who done it' storyline but I really didn't have a CLUE until Strike said it out loud. It was a bit slow in parts but it all worked out as you could follow the steps and workings of Cormoran Strike. His past, his present and everything in between makes him a great hero character that is so easy to follow and fall in love with. I couldn't wait to read the next in the series after this one.
4.5 out of 5

The Silkworm, Robert Galbraith (link)

After finishing the previous I was so excited to start on the next case. I loved the first in the series but The Silkworm's case wasn't as engaging. I enjoyed following Strike and Robin in figuring out the case and learning more about them was something I really liked, but other than that I found the actual story line a little dull. I was encaptured at the end and was really surprised with the conclusion, again great work woman! I have become attached to the characters truly in this book and can't wait to read more. I did a little research in the sad aftermath of finishing a great book and found that in July 2014 JK Rowling said she was half way through book number three and already had plans for her fourth, I can't wait. Its definitely a series you need to read.
4 out of 5

Love, Ellie xo