Posted in Daisy Reads, Updates

May’s Review Material Reveal

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I am so happy to announce that for this month’s review I will be reading Madeline Miller’s fantastic book ‘Circe’!

‘Circe’ takes one of the most forgotten and elusive nymphs in Grecian mythology to the forefront in this “truly spellbinding” narrative. Exploring her presence in epic mythological tales from ‘The Odyssey’ to Theseus and the Minotaur; Madeline Miller creates a never-before explored feminist twist to a woman normally absent from the classical narrative.

I’ve been wanting to get my hand on a copy of this novel forever! I can’t wait to do a review on this amazing book!

Are you excited for this month’s chosen review material? If not; please make sure to leave a suggestion in my ‘Contact’ page and make sure to stay up-to-date by subscribing to my mailing list, following my blog and keep track of my social media over on Instagram!

I’ll be releasing my review on this novel sometime around mid-May so make sure to stay connected!

Until then!

Daisy

ThatBookBlogger

Instagram: @thatbookblogger

WordPress: @daisythebookblogger

Posted in Daisy Reads, Updates

May’s Review Theme Reveal!

MYTHOLOGY (1)

Hello everybody! I cannot believe that April has flown by already!

Nevertheless, I am so excited to announce that next month’s review theme has been revealed: ‘Mythology!’.

Mythology and classical studies go hand in hand. What most people don’t know is that these stories of Gods, epic heroes and monsters have provided the very basis of our pop culture today surrounding genres such as Fantasy, Science Fiction, Action, Romance and even Horror! As such, the novel I’ve chosen to read around this very theme will evaluate our ideas of classicism within today’s modern, societal standards… the title will be revealed tomorrow!

Are you happy with next month’s review theme? If not; make sure to submit a suggestion in my ‘Contact’ page and stay up-to-date by subscribing to my mailing list, and by following my blog!

Until next time,

Daisy

DaisyTheBookBlogger

WordPress: @DaisyTheBookBlogger

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Posted in Daisy Reads, Updates

April’s Review: Gail Honeyman’s ‘Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine’

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Happy Easter to all those that celebrate! We hope your day was full of reading, sunshine and rest!

For April’s review theme, it was ‘Editor’s Picks’, a chance for me to pick and review a novel that has been on my to-read list. And for this month, I decided to review Gail Honeyman’s 2017 debut novel ‘Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine’ after hearing about its immense popularity and readership.

Since its publication in 2017, Honeyman’s ‘Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine’ has received rave critical and audience reviews and has been discussed and reviewed by a huge range of book and lifestyle bloggers alike. Just the other day in my local library I overheard a woman requesting a copy of the novel to be delivered only for the librarian to respond that she would be added onto a list of FOURTEEN requests before it’d be her turn to take out a copy! But is the novel worth waiting for?

Honeyman’s novel is touching and disturbing all at the same time. The what-may-seem-to-be heartwarming story line can not only be read as a simple adult fiction story but as a possible social commentary on British foster and social care systems as well as an evaluation on our attitudes towards the ‘outsiders’ of the world. The novel can also be included as part of the huge rising literary movement that has begun to respond to attitudes towards mental health issues and attitudes. ‘Eleanor Oliphant’ is thus not only a text to be enjoyed and discussed, but a text to analyse and think about.

Honeyman’s writing style captures Eleanor’s aloof perspective perfectly. Her use of language, comedy and action creates a captivating portrayal of a woman struggling to be noticed in a society whose habits and expectations are alien to her.

It would be wrong to think that this story is lighthearted, but the darker subject matters of the novel such as suicide, abuse, stalker-mentality and mental illness are written respectfully and tactfully. Honeyman should be praised for touching on such subjects so diligently.

I also enjoyed how the novel was devised. Yes, the ending was somewhat predictable (in the way that all adult general fiction novels are), however I found it enthralling to read a novel which does not feature romance or infatuation so heavily within its story line, particularly in a novel that focuses on a female protagonist.

And Eleanor Oliphant’s character is perfectly created. She is the anti-Mary Poppins, practically imperfect in every way. She disgusts, she humours, she elicits sympathy but most of all she surprises. Her character development is finely done; Honeyman ensures the reader of Eleanor’s personal abnormalities so often that we are left looking for them within our own person.  

If you can get your hands on a copy, ‘Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine’ is a novel that delights, repulses and lingers in the mine even weeks past the final page.

Make sure you stay in touch over on @thatbookblogger(s) Instagram to stay up to date with all our reviews and posts on ‘ThatBookBlog’. Let me know your thoughts and recommendations over on our ‘Contact’ page. May’s review material will soon be released!

Until then,

Happy reading!

Daisy

ThatBookBlog.com

WordPress: @daisythebookblogger

Instagram: @thatbookblogger

Posted in Daisy Reads, Updates

April’s Review Material Reveal!

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The Spring weather in England has been beauutiful so far! Perfect for some spring reading!

I’m so pleased to announce that April’s reading material for ‘Editor’s Picks’ will be Gail Honeyman’s “Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine”!

Honeyman’s debut novel follows the life of Eleanor Oliphant, a somewhat odd woman who finds trouble and dissatisfaction in every element of the world. But deep down, Eleanor Oliphant is hiding some troubling secrets. Can she move past her loneliness and connect?

The review of Honeyman’s novel will be released later this month! In the meantime, make sure you follow our blog and subscribe to our mailing list to be notified of all of our updates, and make sure to check out our previous articles and reviews.

If you have any suggestions or comments, make sure to connect with us over on our ‘Contact Page’.

Happy reading!

Daisy

ThatBookBlog.com

WordPress: @daisythebookblogger

Instagram: @thatbookblog

Posted in Daisy Reads, Updates

April’s Review Theme

April Editor Picks

Can you believe it’s nearly April?!

With Spring and the end of my university’s Winter term looming, I thought it time to treat myself to the many ‘to-read’ books stacked up upon my Goodreads shelf!

That’s why next month’s review theme is going to be ‘Editor Picks’, a month when I review a book chosen specifically because I’ve been putting off reading it for so long!

I’ll be posting what next month’s review material will be both here as well as on my Instagram @thatbookblogger on April 1st so make sure you follow the site to stay updated!

If you would like to make a suggestion on what you want to see me review in the future, make sure to leave a comment on my ‘Contact’ page or over on my account at Instagram!

In the meantime,

Happy reading!

Daisy

ThatBookBlog.com

WordPress: @daisythebookblogger

Instagram: @thatbookblogger

Posted in Daisy Reads, Updates

A review of Stephanie Garber’s ‘Caraval’ – March ‘Magical Realism’

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‘Caraval’ is one of those rare gems. You simply open the first page and you’re instantly absorbed into a plotline and world so delightfully created you ignore any sense of self, time or place. I woke up at 7am one weekend in order to read a few chapters before my boyfriend woke up to have some truly uninterrupted reading!
However, a good plot and good world-building doesn’t always make for a good novel.

Fortunately, this isn’t the case for Stephanie Garber’s YA Novel. The few critiques I and other critics have towards the book obviously hasn’t changed the mass appreciation and fanbuilding that has come with Garber’s popular series. Sadly, I’ve jumped onto the ‘Caraval’ bandwagon almost 3 years after the series started. Garber’s third and final part of the series, ‘Finale’, will be released in Hardback later this year in May (UK).
YA novels tend to be rather overdone and overclichéd but ‘Caraval’ offers some refreshing relief. I have begun to stray away from reading YA novels. The novels I once read religiously have been replaced by more adult and strenuous fiction thanks to the pressure of university reading and the development of personal taste with age. However, it’s a relief to see that the dystopian ‘YA’ trope is finally dead and buried after 3 years in the limelight.

I found ‘Caraval’ new and unique. Garber’s choice to set her novel within a magical carnival-like setting was unique yet also effectively tactical. It preempts the boom of period magical realism within settings such as ‘The Greatest Showman’ in 2017, yet also effectively leads on from Jessie Burton’s ‘The Miniaturist’ in 2014 and Erin Morgernstern’s ‘The Night Circus’. The trend, for the time, was rarely displayed in YA fiction and I think Garber made the correct choice in setting up her novel the way she did.

Yet despite her fabulous world-building, I found her characters somewhat lacking. Notions of sexual chastity and descriptions of fashion seem to place her story around the 19th century, yet her characters rarely seem to display this in their attitudes, thoughts or conversations. I understand that some of these ideas must have to have been molded in some ways to allow the traditional romance plot found within YA novels, yet the ongoing narrative qualm within Scarlett’s story of her impending arranged marriage felt a bit worthless against the modern-thinking and speaking characters.

Barring this, Garber’s plot was interesting and unique. It offers twists somewhat expected, yet Garber counteracts this with twists relatively unseen within YA novels. This gave the novel a sense of unpredictability which I really enjoyed. Yet I also think that the plot may have been somewhat too overambitious. A lot happened, and a lot was trying to happen. I often couldn’t remember what had preceded before the section I was currently reading due to the sheer amount of content.

I’m still not too sure whether this is a good or bad thing. I’d like to believe that this was a more conscious effort by Garber herself to display the unpredictability of ‘Caraval(s)’ world, yet a part of me is still unsure about the whole creative choice in whole. The use of cliffhangers within every chapter came off as a little childlike and unnecessary. It was as if Garber felt she had to include cliffhangers within each chapter to prolong readership but it only seemed to downplay the truly climatic elements within her plotline that made the novel so interesting in the first place.

I enjoyed the ending of the novel in terms of the closure of Scarlett’s narrative; but not necessarily the end of the novel itself. Garber’s epilogue towards the end of the novel seems to imply that her second novel ‘Legendary’ leads on from the end of the first novel with Scarlett’s sister, Donatella, taking over the role of the narrator and I didn’t particularly like the epilogue or the focus on it as the novel was ending. Instead, I felt the new conflicts Scarlett was facing was interesting in that they turned ideas of incompatibility and unpredictability found within YA romances on its head. I’m interested to see how these are going to be continued to tackled later on within the series. What I am most disappointed in is that all of Caraval’s secrets appeared to have been revealed within only the first book of the series. I wish that the secrets I had learnt were slowly revealed over the course of three novels rather than in one big flurry over two chapters, however I’m sure that more will be contested and introduced later on within the series. I had a sense that if Garber really wanted to she could have avoided an entire series if she had simply ended the novel towards the conclusion of the first book. It’ll be interesting to see if my perspective changes upon reading the second and final novels later this year.

I also didn’t particularly like Scarlett as a protagonist. She was judgemental, silly, slightly weak in her creation, and generally uninteresting. I felt like she was very one layered. Her one interesting, defining moment that reasoned her insecurities and fear for her sister was revealed within only the first few chapters of her character being introduced. There was no sense of mystery or development within her characters and this, for me, marred the otherwise fantastic plotlines and descriptions within Garber’s novel. I felt like I was simply re-reading so many of the other typical tropes of female heroines within YA which left me feeling a little disappointed.

Julian also felt much of the same. He was that same ‘guy’ we see in every single YA novel ever. The perfect bad boy. The abs, the tan, the willingness to die for any girl he lays eyes upon. However, I will admit that my perspective of his character did somewhat change with the ending of the novel, yet his character still felt very general. It could’ve been any other character from any other YA novel in his place and I wouldn’t have noticed. I wish he could have been fleshed out some more. What were his interests other than Scarlett? What were his habits? What were his dislikes?

Yet, despite all this, I truly did enjoy ‘Caraval’.

I wouldn’t say I loved reading it, but I do have to marvel and give credit to a book that can make the reader fall so deeply into the rabbit hole of its story.

‘Caraval’ was an interesting, intriguing read and I look forward to pursuing the series later this year.

Make sure you stay in touch over on @thatbookblogger(s) Instagram to stay up to date with all our reviews and posts on ‘ThatBookBlog’. Let me know your thoughts and recommendations over on our ‘Contact’ page. April’s review material will soon be released!

Until then,

Happy reading!

Daisy

ThatBookBlog.com

WordPress: @daisythebookblogger

Instagram: @thatbookblogger

Posted in Daisy Reads, Updates

‘Caraval’ is March’s Review Material!

Results are in! Stephanie Garber’s magical ‘Caraval’ will be March’s review material!

I am so happy and excited to review this novel! ‘Caraval’ has been on my to-read list for ages and I finally have an excuse to get down and crack on with this magical masterpiece!

Are you happy with this month’s material? If not feel free to leave a suggestion in our ‘Contact’ page.

Until then, happy reading!

Daisy

ThatBookBlog.com

WordPress: @daisythebookblog

Instagram: @thatbookblogger

Posted in Daisy Reads, Updates

March’s ‘Magical Realism’ Voting Now Open!

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It’s that time of the month again!! It’s time for your vote to see what you want me to read and review for March’s month of ‘Magical Realism’ on ‘ThatBookBlog.com’!

Robert Dinsdale’s ‘The Toy Makers’ published in 2018 by Del Ray publishers follows the life of Cathy Wray, a girl living in London in 1917; a girl running away from a shameful past before she stumbles across ‘The Emporium’, a magical toyshop that possesses secrets of its own.

Stephanie Garber’s ‘Caraval’ published in 2017 by Macmillan USA follows the lives of two sisters, Tess and Scarlett, who live under the thumb of their father until they learn of the mysterious, faraway ‘Caraval’ performance where the sisters long to be included. Will they learn to tread their own path or face being separated from one another forever?

Head over to @thatbookblogger(s) Instagram story to vote now! Results will be revealed later this evening!

Are you excited for March’s reviewing material? If you’d like to make any suggestions for what you’d like to see me review, make sure to leave a suggestion in my ‘Contact’ page.

Happy reading!

Daisy

ThatBookBlog.com

WordPress: @daisythebookblogger

Instagram: @thatbookblogger

Posted in Daisy Reads

March’s Monthly Theme

Magical Realism WordPress

I’m so happy and excited to announce that March’s Monthly Theme will be ‘Magical Realism’!

Magical Realism is one of my favourite genres and is the creative charge of fantastic novels such as ‘The Night Circus’ by Erin Morgernstern, Carrie Hope Fletcher’s ‘All That She Can See’ and so many more!

If you haven’t yet read January’s ‘Famous Figures’ review of James Shapiro’s fantastic book ‘Contested Will’, you can do so over on the page ‘Daisy Reads’. If you’re fascinated by the conspiracies surrounding the life and works of William Shakespeare, Shapiro’s 2010 text is one to add to your list!

The vote for March’s reviewing material will be released on @ThatBookBlog(‘s) Instagram on the 28th February and will give you the opportunity to vote for what two chosen novels you would like me to read and review.

If you’d like to make any reading suggestions or recommendations yourself, be sure make a comment over on my ‘Contact’ page.

If you’d like to stay in touch or keep-up-to-date over on ‘ThatBookBlog’, be sure to follow the blog or subscribe to our emailing list to receive regular updates for new posts and comments.

Until March,

Happy reading!

Daisy

ThatBookBlog

WordPress: @daisythebookblogger

Instagram: @thatbookblog

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Daisy Reads, Updates

February’s ‘Famous Figures’: A review of James Shapiro’s ‘Contested Will’

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Who was the bard?

This isn’t a question that James Shapiro tries to answer, but one he strives to make some academic sense of. Why are we so obsessed with the bard and who he is? And why do we continue to search for evidence of his life and existence over 400 years later?50428382_371966263603331_4747624129937539072_n

Shapiro’s ‘Contested Will’ is one of those rare academic gems; a well-researched text made approachable and accessible for even the least experienced and knowledgeable Shakespeare scholar. Shapiro is in ingenious in his exploration of the conspiracies surrounding Shakespeare and his plays, not simply just describing what these theories are, but how they came to be so present even now in the 21st century.

However it is important to note, that like any other academic text, facts can always be made false as more research is conducted over time. The fact that ‘Contested Will’ was published over 9 years ago means that this is more likely to be the case with Shapiro’s text, but this does not mean that the text’s worth is any less because of it. Even when searching ‘Contested Will’ on any search engine, no evidence of any kind of factual inaccuracy arises surrounding the text; but it’s always important to read and perceive these kinds of texts with some kind of awareness of its possible inaccuracy.

The text is well written and well approachable to the scholarly eye, but those who are looking for a more informal, thrilling read around Shakespeare’s life and conspiracies should turn away from Shapiro’s text and seek some of the more extreme (and invalidated) work of Shakespearean scholars such as Edmond Malone (an 18th century scholar who was proven to be discredited and who is hugely berated by Shapiro).

But this is what I feel is Shapiro’s most praiseworthy, defining factor. His exploration is rational, formal and is well balanced in its bias in that it feels that is has none (with the possible exception in his account of said previous Edmund Malone) despite Shapiro’s admittance that he is in no doubt that Shakespeare is Shakespeare, and not any other examples offered up by incredulous scholars such as Sir Francis Bacon, Walter Raleigh or Christopher Marlowe. Shapiro is a praiseworthy scholar in that he doesn’t allow his beliefs to affect his judgement in any way whatsoever.

So is ‘Contested Will’ worth reading?

Personally, yes.

That said, even as an English student, I found it was sometimes difficult to get used to the idea that I was reading a scholarly, formal text in my own free time for enjoyment; and this particular subject and text might be a stretch for those who are not used to the form and structure of such scholarly essays. But Shapiro’s text is well-worth a read when you are in good need of rest from some of the contemporary drivel supplied on social media sites today, or even just for some good old fashion knowledgeable fun. 

Message from ThatBookBlog:

Hi there! I hope you enjoyed this month’s review material and that you’ve been keeping up with more of ‘ThatBookBlog’ news over on Instagram at our handle @thatbookblogger.

If you’d like to make any suggestions towards what you think we should review, or even what you think our review theme should be for the month of March; please feel free to leave a comment on our ‘Contact’ page and be sure to follow our blog and subscribe to our mailing list for more of ‘ThatBookBlog’ updates!

Happy reading!

Daisy.

ThatBookBlog.com

WordPress: @daisythebookblogger

Instagram: @thatbookblog