Book Review: Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

Author: Rainbow Rowell

Read: July, 2016

Genre: Contemporary, Romance




Summary from Goodreads (link here):

It’s 1999 and the internet is still a novelty. At a newspaper office, two colleagues, Beth and Jennifer, e-mail back and forth, discussing their lives in hilarious details, from love troubles to family dramas. And Lincoln, a shy IT guy responsible for monitoring e-mails, spends his hours reading every exchange.

At first their e-mails offer a welcome diversion, but the more he reads, the more he finds himself falling for one of them. By the time Lincoln realises just how head-over-heels he is, it’s too late to introduce himself.

After a series of close encounters, Lincoln eventually decides he must follow his heart… and find out if there is such a thing as love before first sight.



This book is fluffy kittens. It’s hot chocolate and freshly baked goods. It’s warm hugs.

In other words, Attachments is a whole heap of sugary sweet cuteness.

I’m not usually a contemporary reader, but I always make an exception for Rainbow Rowell books – they’re amazing. Her writing style is brilliant and endlessly humorous, especially in the email exchanges between Beth and Jennifer; these chapters feel like a realistic email conversation between friends, whilst at same time building up enough personality and backstory for each character in order to let the reader get to know and like them. I love how Rowell shows their friendship, how they’re always there for each other and supportive, forgiving of each other’s mistakes and willing to be honest about things.

This book was a fabulously quick read – honestly, I managed it in a day. I’ve been needing something lighthearted and fun lately, and this ticked all the boxes. It’s got a nice feeling of resolution at the end and the story never drags.

Also, I’m adding a little shout out to my favourite character, Doris. What a lady! Seriously, I want a Doris to share dinner with and give me useful life advice. She’s awesome.

So, yeah. I don’t really have much more to say…? Attachments is just a solid book, filled with adorable relationships and funny exchanges. It’s the perfect uplifting summer read.


Best Quote/s:

“So, what if, instead of thinking about solving your whole life, you just think about adding additional good things. One at a time. Just let your pile of good things grow.”

“I’m too old to be lying to other people’s mothers,” Doris said.


If you like this try:

Rainbow Rowell’s other books, Fangirl and Eleanor and Park.


Has any one else read Attachments? I’d love to hear your thoughts!



Friday 56

It’s Friday 56 time again!

This is a weekly book meme hosted by Freda’s Voice. Here are the rules:

*Grab a book, any book.Friday 56
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
(If you have to improvise, that’s ok.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it)
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.
*It’s that simple.



You may recognise today’s quote from the 56th page of Rainbow Rowell’s delightfully adorable (and kinda creepy/stalker-y, let’s be honest) adult contemporary, Attachments.

“Don’t mind these shitheads. I had to bring them, it’s my turn to be designated driver. They won’t kill our game, though, they hang in the kiddies section.”

“No worries,” Lincoln said.


“No worries!” Lincoln wasn’t worried. He didn’t have any game to kill.



I really enjoyed this book – hopefully I’ll have a review up soon! Has anyone else read Attachments? I’d love to know your thoughts!



Book Review: The Muse


Author: Jessie Burton

Read: July, 2016

Genre: Historical Fiction

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Summary from Goodreads (link here):

From the internationally bestselling author of The Miniaturist comes a captivating and brilliantly realised story of two young women—a Caribbean immigrant in 1960s London, and a bohemian woman in 1930s Spain—and the powerful mystery that ties them together.

England, 1967. Odelle Bastien is a Caribbean émigré trying to make her way in London. When she starts working at the prestigious Skelton Art Gallery, she discovers a painting rumoured to be the work of Isaac Robles, a young artist of immense talent and vision whose mysterious death has confounded the art world for decades. The excitement over the painting is matched by the intrigue around the conflicting stories of its discovery. Drawn into a complex web of secrets and deceptions, Odelle does not know what to believe or who she can trust, including her mesmerising colleague, Marjorie Quick.

Spain, 1937. Olive Schloss, the daughter of a Viennese Jewish art dealer and English heiress, follows her parents to Arazuelo, a poor, restless village on the southern coast. She grows close to Teresa, a young housekeeper, and her half-brother Isaac Robles, an idealistic and ambitious painter newly returned from the Barcelona salons. A dilettante buoyed by the revolutionary fervour that will soon erupt into civil war, Isaac dreams of being a painter as famous as his countryman, Picasso.

Raised in poverty, these illegitimate children of the local landowner revel in exploiting this wealthy Anglo-Austrian family. Insinuating themselves into the Schloss’s lives, Teresa and Isaac help Olive conceal her artistic talents with devastating consequences that will echo into the decades to come.

Rendered in exquisite detail, The Muse is a passionate and enthralling tale of desire, ambition, and the ways in which the tides of history inevitably shape and define our lives.




I loved this book. For me, it was better than The Miniaturist.

Personally, I adore books that try and show the interlocking connections that exist between time periods, places and people and The Muse captures this brilliantly – half the story follows Odelle in 1960s London and the other half follows Olive in 1930s Spain. Out of the two, I found Odelle far more likeable – Olive was at times painfully naive and somewhat oblivious to others, although considering the novel does explore the idea of finding one’s independence and sense of purpose, Olive’s age (19) and rather sheltered upbringing, it is understandable. However Odelle was endlessly enjoyable to read about – an aspiring writing who suffers from a lot of self doubt, was stubborn and stuck to her values, had believable conflicts with other characters from which she learned and evolved as a person. Also, I really admired her determination – she moved from her family home in Trinidad to London to pursue her dream of being a writer, facing and overcoming a lot of ingrained racism as well as her own worries about not being good enough.

The two women are connected by a painting – Rufina and the Lion. Olive, an artist, painted the piece along with several others during her time in rural Spain in the lead up the Spanish Civil War. Olive’s father is a notable art dealer, but he has never taken his daughter’s work seriously –

Her father always said that of course women could pick up a paintbrush and paint, but the fact was, they didn’t make good artists. Olive had never quite worked out what the difference was.

(Side-note: Another reason I admire Burton’s writing is because it’s often got a feminist slant – her characters are usually working against some kind of confining gender discrimination, and in Odelle’s case it’s racial as well.)

Olive believes herself to be creating her best work during her time in Spain as a direct result of meeting Isaac Robles – Isaac and his sister Teresa are locals who arrive at the Schloss household seeking work for Teresa as a maid/housekeeper. Olive is quickly infatuated with Isaac; he becomes her muse. Olive becomes terrified of losing this creative ability she has found, desperately clutching at Isaac’s affection and the cover identity he provides for her work after Teresa, wanting Olive to receive more recognition for her paintings, switches one of Olive’s works with a portrait of Isaac’s. Olive’s father falls in love with the piece, setting about to sell it immediately, oblivious to the fact it was painted by his daughter.

Fast forward to London, 1960s. Odelle is given a job at an art gallery by the enigmatic Marjorie Quick, who tries to encourage Odelle’s writing talent, going so far as to help her publish her first story. Odelle goes on to meet Lawrie at her friend’s wedding party, and the pair share a moment in the kitchen, discussing the death of Lawrie’s mother and Odelle’s father, before going their separate ways. Lawrie later finds Odelle at her work, bringing with him a painting which draws a rather strange reaction from Quick and excitement from the gallery’s owner – it’s an Isaac Robles, a piece called Rufina and the Lion.

As both stories progress and interconnect, culminating in tragedy and hope, it becomes apparent that Marjorie Quick was in fact Teresa. I don’t know at what point in the story Burton intended for this to become known to the reader – I figured it out quite quickly, so it wasn’t a major revelation. I don’t know if it was supposed to be one, but I also don’t think that it matters. The very narrative structure of novel, split between two periods, grants the reader a sense of knowledge, an awareness, that the characters themselves could never possess. So it doesn’t matter, I feel, because the reader finding out isn’t the point – it’s Odelle finding out, it’s the validation of another person knowing the truth about the Isaac Robles painting, that matters. At least, that was my interpretation.

The Muse is not only about growing up, but also about art and the creative process. A lot of emphasis is placed on the freedom Olive gains from being able to paint anonymously – people do not attribute her work to her, but Isaac, and this gives her space to do what she likes. Quick advises Odelle, who is going through a period of writer’s block, to just write because her work would be separate from herself. It’s a strange but also not strange idea – once an idea leaves the confines of a person’s mind and is shared in any creative medium, the interpretation of that idea is up to its audience. The audience’s interpretation is separate from the intention of the artist. The artist themself is not their art, nor is their art them.

The idea that anyone might be able to detach their personal value from their public output was revolutionary. I didn’t know if it was possible, even desirable.

I feel that Burton’s own experiences must have influenced her here – The Miniaturist was a wildly popular debut; I think it’s sold over a million copies (it has, I just check The Muse’s book jacket – which is incredibly pretty by the way). How daunting to have to write a another book in the face of that success and inevitable expectation. That’s why I feel the whole idea of separating the art from the artist probably captured Burton’s interest – the idea of the creative freedom that would allow, that Olive experiences when Isaac becomes the face of her work, was probably something Burton would appreciate with her own writing.

Another thing I enjoyed about this book was how Burton explored the finite nature of some relationships – the person who you fall in love with in your late teens/early twenties isn’t necessarily the person you’re going to be with forever, and that’s totally normal and okay. Odelle describes how her relationship with Lawrie changes and fades away after he uses his money from Rufina’s sale to travel to America:

In the end, Lawrie didn’t come back.

[…] I did not miss Lawrie as much as I might have missed my work. He had told me to keep writing, so I did. I would have preferred not to have to choose between writing and loving; because for me, they were often the same thing.

[…] Perhaps I didn’t have to choose. Perhaps that was a dichotomy I set up myself. Regardless; the phone calls became more sporadic, and then they stopped.

Overall, I enjoyed this book immensely. Burton is a talented story teller and her historical settings are simply gorgeous – although I must say, 1960s London and 1930s Spain weren’t quite as beautiful as her depiction of 1600s Amsterdam. The Muse is a fantastic book – it made me consider creativity and the nature of art differently, as well giving brief glimmers of insight into two very interesting time periods. What are you waiting for? Go read it!


If you like this try:

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

The Vet’s Daughter by Barbara Comyns


What about you guys? Any other Jessie Burton fans? Please share your thoughts!


Top 5 Wednesday: Most Unlikable Characters!

118368Top 5 Wednesday time! This is a weekly book meme – the Goodreads group lives here – and this week’s topic is:

Most Unlikable Characters
— NOT VILLAINS! These are protagonists or side characters that are unlikable! (These should lean more towards characters who aren’t intentionally unlikeable. Not villains, or mean girl/guys, etc.)

I, like all bookworms, have encountered characters that I think the author intended for me to like, or even love, but I hated their very existence. Wished they could be obliterated from the book. Replaced by someone better. ANYTHING.

So, here’s the list of said undesirables:

  • Bella Swan from the Twilight Saga. I wanted to love Twilight all those many moons ago when it was the thing – and whilst I thought it was okay at the time, I’ve never been able to like Bella. She’s too passive and boring and whiny. I ended up abandoning the series after three books. I just couldn’t face a fourth. *shudders*



  • Mare Barrow from Red Queen. Mare was far too generic a heroine – I felt like I’d read about her before, several times over. Her blandness irritated me enough that I gave up after reading about two thirds of Red Queen, which was disappointing because the premise was brilliant and it had excellent reviews.


  • Mal Oretsev from the Grisha Trilogy – NO SPOILERS PLEASE! I’ve only read the first two! i just find Mal quite annoying. I don’t why exactly. I just do.I feel like it’s probably more his relationship with Alina that irritates me than the character himself. Maybe he’ll get better in book 3? I remain hopeful.


  • Alyssa and Jeb from the Splintered series. I loved book 1, I wanted to love book two, and book three got DNF’d, mainly because of these two. I found them whiny and annoying. You know what would have been better? A series solely about Morpheus. That I would finish! I feel like part of my issue with this series is that I started reading it when I wasn’t all that critical of what I read and the fact it was an Alice in Wonderland retelling gave it extra brownie points. By the time I got book 3 my attitude to reading was a lot different and the initial excitement for the series had worn off. Still, the actual world building and plot of this series is fantastic, as is Morpheus, so it’s not by any means a total miss.


  • Quentin and Margo from Paper Towns. I didn’t manage to finish this one either. They were all so annoying! They ruined a perfectly good road trip. *shakes head.*


Well, I’ve spotted a pattern – if I hate the characters chances are I’ll not finish the book. I actually found it weird how many of these I hadn’t finished, because it’s something I rarely actually do. This list makes me look like a serial book dumper – I’m not! I promise!

Anyhoo, what do guys think? Agree with me? Disagree? Let me know!


Top 10 Tuesday: Things Books Have Made Me Want To Learn!

Hello lovelies! It’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday! This week’s topic is:

Top Ten Things Books Have Made Me Want To Do or Learn About After Reading Them.

Top 10 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Here is the link if you would like to know more about it/take part!

Books, books, books – as well as teaching me things, they also make me want to learn things. The issue is that I’m usually too lazy/clumsy/untalented to pick up these new skills or it’s actually impossible to. Sigh. I can dream though, right? Hence my list:

  • Archery – various Fantasy books.
  • Alchemy – Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series by Michael Scott
  • How to be an Animagus – Harry Potter. Being a bird would be cool, except for the part where I’m scared of heights and flying. Maybe a fox would be better actually…
  • Paint – The Muse by Jessie Burton. I have zero artistic skills, but I’d love to have some.
  • Horse riding – The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater.
  • How to drive – The Raven Cycle series by Maggie Stiefvater.
  • Mythology – various fantasy books.
  • How to sail – Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo. Ahoy there!
  • Cartography (map-making) – The Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave.
  • How to play a musical instrument – Seraphina by Rachel Hartman.










So how about you? Any matches? Any other cool talents I should know about? Please let me know!


Book Review: The Lies of Locke Lamora


Author: Scott Lynch

Read: July, 2016

Genre: Fantasy





Summary from Goodreads:

An orphan’s life is harsh — and often short — in the island city of Camorr, built on the ruins of a mysterious alien race. But born with a quick wit and a gift for thieving, Locke Lamora has dodged both death and slavery, only to fall into the hands of an eyeless priest known as Chains — a man who is neither blind nor a priest.

A con artist of extraordinary talent, Chains passes his skills on to his carefully selected “family” of orphans — a group known as the Gentlemen Bastards. Under his tutelage, Locke grows to lead the Bastards, delightedly pulling off one outrageous confidence game after another. Soon he is infamous as the Thorn of Camorr, and no wealthy noble is safe from his sting.

Passing themselves off as petty thieves, the brilliant Locke and his tightly knit band of light-fingered brothers have fooled even the criminal underworld’s most feared ruler, Capa Barsavi. But there is someone in the shadows more powerful — and more ambitious — than Locke has yet imagined.

Known as the Gray King, he is slowly killing Capa Barsavi’s most trusted men — and using Locke as a pawn in his plot to take control of Camorr’s underworld. With a bloody coup under way threatening to destroy everyone and everything that holds meaning in his mercenary life, Locke vows to beat the Gray King at his own brutal game — or die trying…

Damn that’s a long summary. To be fair, it’s quite a long book – Lynch’s writing is very detailed and entertaining, but it does lean toward the denser side at times. In fact,part of me feels that sections of the book were superfluous and indulgent, but part of me also thinks that the jumpy, sometimes seemingly meandering time line of the book was necessary. Everything, from the characters to the religious system, the setting of Camorr to the various cultures found within the world, is richly drawn and explored as a result; Lynch’s world-building, a cornerstone of any good fantasy novel, was excellent and immersing because of this.

The characters, especially Locke and his ever faithful band of thieves, The Gentlemen Bastards, were distinctive. I loved the friendship and camaraderie that existed between all the Gentlemen Bastards  – their exploits made for interesting reading.  Lynch takes care to slowly divulge elements of each character’s backstory, interspersing these “Interludes” throughout the novel, slotting them in where the content is most relevant to the immediate predicaments of the characters.

The plot was clever and engaging – just when you think you know where it’s going it takes a sudden twist or turn in a direction you never saw coming. The actual heists/general shenanigans of Locke and his friends are well thought out and described brilliantly.

Overall, I found The Lies of Locke Lamora to be a good, solid fantasy novel that’s lots of fun. I can’t wait to read the rest of the series.

Best Quote/s:

“Someday, Locke Lamora,” he said, “someday, you’re going to fuck up so magnificently, so ambitiously, so overwhelmingly that the sky will light up and the moons will spin and the gods themselves will shit comets with glee. And I just hope I’m still around to see it.”
“Oh please,” said Locke. “It’ll never happen.”

“There’s no freedom quite like the freedom of being constantly underestimated.”


If you like this try:

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson


Liebster Award #2

Guess what? After I posted my first Liebster Award yesterday (I was nominated by The Whimsical Chick earlier this week), I found out that I have been nominated again by Laura @ Reading Lust! Thank you so much! 🙂

Go check out both their blogs, they’re really good!


The Rules

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.

2. Answer the 11 questions the blogger gives you.

3. Nominate 11 bloggers that you think are deserving of the award.

4. Let the bloggers know you nominated them.

5. Give them 11 questions of your own.


1.If you could read only one book for the rest of your life, which one would it be?

Ugh. Such a tough question! Can I cheat and chose a series? I’m going to anyway – Harry Potter.


2.Which character would you like to slap in the face?

Just one? Probably Tamlin after reading A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas.

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3.If you could change an ending of one book, which one would it be, and what would you change?

Honestly, I can’t think of one. Occasionally I get annoyed about some stuff, but usually I can see why the author did it.

4.If you could make one series of a book into a standalone, which series would you choose?

Ashes trilogy by Ilsa J. Bick. I loved the first one, thought the second one was okay, and didn’t even finish the third book. It would have been way better if it had been left on a cliffhanger after book 1 or condensed into a duology. For anyone who’s interested, it’s about a zombie apocalypse.


5.Which Film/TV Show/Musical have you watched the most times?

I don’t know. I’ve seen Tangled quite a lot, as well as Little Miss Sunshine and Pan’s Labyrinth? And I’m not really into musicals *hides*.

6.Your favourite book OTP?

This usually changes with every book I read, but I really loved reading about Levi and Cath from Fangirl, so I’ll pick them.

7.Which fictional team/gang/group of friends would you like to be a part of?

The Raven Boys from Maggie Stiefvater’s Raven Cycle series. I want to go find dead Welsh Kings!


8.Who is your favourite secondary character in a book?

Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter. Watch out for the nargles!

What is your favourite city that you have visited?

I’ve not actually visited that many cities, so my options are limited. Hopefully when I’m older I can go travelling like I want to and rectify this tragedy. For now, I’m going to say Edinburgh.

10.If you could have a superpower, which one would you choose?

The ability to speak any language fluently.

11.What is the most shameful book that you have read and loved it?

I don’t really have book shame for the ones I like. I do sometimes feel a little embarrassed when I dislike a book that everyone else seems to love though.


So because I just done my first Liebster Award yesterday, I’m going to use the same questions for my nominations this time round as well. How lazy, I know.

Questions for my nominees:

  1. What is one of your favourite quotes from a book?
  2. Favourite animal/creature from a book? (e.g. hippogriffs from Harry Potter)
  3. Do you prefer to read at night or in the morning?
  4. What three adjectives/traits would you use to describe yourself?
  5. What’s your bookish pet peeve?
  6. You can only read one genre of book for the rest of your life: which genre would it be?
  7. Is there a book/series that you really liked but that had an ending you hated?
  8. What’s your Hogwarts house?
  9. Do you have a favourite film or T.V. show?
  10. What’s your favourite part of blogging?
  11. Who is your favourite book villain?

I Nominate:

Monkey Bibliophile


Literary Dust


Maya the Book Explorer

One More

A Book Nation

Fantastic Books and Where to Find Them

Stephanie Cassidy’s Blog



Thanks again to Laura @ Reading Lust for the nomination – I really appreciate it! Thanks to everyone who has followed, commented on or liked my blog as well!


Liebster Award!

Great news! I was nominated by The Whimsical Chick for a Liebster Award! Thank you!

Here are the rules:

  1. Post the award on your blog.
  2. Acknowledge the blogger who nominated you.
  3. Answer the questions assigned to you.
  4. Give 10 random facts about yourself.
  5. Nominate 10 deserving bloggers for the award.
  6. Ask 10 questions to your nominees.


So onward to the questions…

1.What was your favourite childhood book?

Childhood me wasn’t always that much of a bookworm. I know, how horrible. But my mum used to read to me and sister quite a lot when we were little, and one of the books she read was Terry Pratchett’s The Wee Free Men.  Fast forward to when I was ten/eleven years old and beginning to really enjoy reading. I found a copy of The Wee Free Men in an old box of stuff when we moved house and read it again – I loved it. I think it’s partly the reason my favourite genre is fantasy.


2.What is one instance where you liked a movie better than the book it was based off of?

The Hunger Games. I liked the books quite a bit, but I enjoyed watching the films more.


3.What is one instance where you liked the book better than the movie?

Basically most book to movie adaptations? For some reason Stardust came to mind – I prefer the book to the film.


4.Who is your role model?

I don’t really have one…? There’s people I admire quite a lot, but I’ve never just had one person I want to be like. I think it’s better to find inspiration from a mix of people and focus on using this to make a better, more well-rounded version of yourself. It’s kind of like being a patchwork quilt.

5.If you could go back in time, what era would you go to? Would you change anything?

I already kind of answered this question when I done my Bookish Time Travel Tag – I’d visit the Victorian era because I find it fascinating. And they have top hats. I wouldn’t change anything, because messing around with time just seems way too risky. I’d probably start the apocalypse by accident or something.

6.What is the most time you have re-read a book?

I’ve re-read Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland over ten times by now…


7.What is your favourite food to snack on while reading?

I don’t normally snack and read – when you’re as clumsy as I am, that’s living a little too dangerously. However, I’ve found that popcorn is a pretty safe snack not only for watching films but reading too. I always get sweet and salty mix. Best of both that way.

8.Who would you dress as for a literary costume party?

Good question. I’d go as the Mad Hatter probably – that way I can wear a quirky top hat!

9.If you could recommend one book to everybody reading this, what would it be?

The Collected Works of A J Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin. This book isn’t perfect – it can be a little sappy at times, at others a little simple. But it’s one of my favourites. It’s a book about bookish people. It’s wonderful and heart-warming.


10.What is your favourite food?

Chocolate cheesecake and fresh strawberries, with a little bit of cream. YUM!


So those were my answers. Now I’m supposed to give you ten facts about my wonderful self, but I’m going to cheat instead and leave a link to my Top Ten Tuesday post Facts About Me. 🙂


Now for the nominations! *insert drum roll*


A Reader’s Whimsy

If Mermaids Wore Suspenders

Rather Quite Lovely


Books, Vertigo and Tea



Stark Reviews


Questions for my nominees:

  1. What is one of your favourite quotes from a book?
  2. Favourite animal/creature from a book? (e.g. hippogriffs from Harry Potter)
  3. Do you prefer to read at night or in the morning?
  4. What three adjectives/traits would you use to describe yourself?
  5. What’s your bookish pet peeve?
  6. You can only read one genre of book for the rest of your life: which genre would it be?
  7. Is there a book/series that you really liked but that had an ending you hated?
  8. What’s your Hogwarts house?
  9. Do you have a favourite film or T.V. show?
  10. What’s your favourite part of blogging?


Thanks again to The Whimsical Chick for nominating me for this award! And I’m also going to take a moment to just to say thank you to the people who have followed this blog and who have liked/commented on my posts – it means a lot! I love talking books with you all!


Top 5 Wednesday: Wishlist Additions!

118368It’s Top Five Wednesday again!

This is a weekly book meme and you can find the Goodreads group here if you want to know more or take part. This week’s topic is…

Most Recent Additions to Your Wishlist!


  • Red Seas Under Red Skies and The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch.



  • Truthwitch by Susan Dennard


  • Places No One Knows by Brenna Yovanoff


  • Slade House by David Mitchell



What’s on your wishlist? Any matches? Please let me know!