Book Reviews: May 2019

Jog On: How Running Saved My Life – Bella Mackie

This book is a refreshingly likeable story of a woman who uses running to help ease the symptoms of mental illness. They way Bella describes anxiety and other mental illnesses is unlike anything I’ve read before. The articulation of the emotions and fears surrounding anxiety is truly beautiful. This book sits almost as a cross between a memoir, a mental health story and a running guide. At the end of the book there is a section which is a realistic set of tips for anyone ready to begin their running journey. 3.5/5

The Secret Barrister: Stories of the Law and How It’s Broken

It would be difficult not to draw this book into comparison with Adam Kay’s ‘this is going to hurt’. The Secret Barrister, who remains anonymous for obvious reasons has packed the book with the horrifying truths and shocking statistics of the trade. Throughout the book we learn the reality of many people, both innocent and guilty wrapped up in the criminal justice system in England and Wales. I loved the thread of particular characters running throughout the book and found the more anecdotal parts of the book to be much more engaging than the most history heavy parts. This is a great book for anyone with an interest in the Criminal Justice System. 4/5

Normal People – Sally Rooney

Normal People follows the story of Marianne and Connell through adolescence, university and into the start of their adult life. They are both from a small town in Ireland but the disparity between their upbringings couldn’t have been more vast. Through the first half of the book I didn’t think much of the book, however there was just something about the characters that I couldn’t let go. I loved the complexity of the relationship between the two protagonists and enjoyed the way the story delved into Marianne’s past. I think one of the reasons this novel polarises opinion is that at times it reads more suited to a young adult audience, with some of the more intimate passages making me almost cringe. The writing in this novel wasn’t perfect, but I think that’s what made it so special. The flaws in the story made it feel much more raw and real and urged me to read more of Rooney’s work. 3/5

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