Book Reviews: January 2019

Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine – Gail Honeyman

After seeing this book plastered all over social media I couldn’t resist investing. And my word, this book is an investment. Eleanor Oliphant would be nothing without her routine. She lives a life catered to nothing but her basic physical needs. She goes to work in the same job she has since she left university, buys the same meal deal for lunch and eats the same dinner each evening – on a Wednesday she takes a phone call from her mummy, who gives her nothing but a barrage of abuse. She spends each weekend in her flat with her only company being a few bottles of white wine and vodka. This novel tells us the story of Eleanor’s troubled upbringing – her blossoming relationship with her colleague Raymond, and her extraordinary relationship with her mother. This quite literally could not put this book down and it had be gripped right from the very first page. The book explores mental and physical health, family, friendships and love. The ending of the story has a twist that caught me completely off guard and the story of Eleanor Oliphant stayed with me long after I put the book down. 5/5

Bring me Back – B A Paris

I adore Paris’ writing style and found the format and timeline of this book very interesting. However, this story was completely unbelievable and the ending was the cherry on the cake. Close to giving up on this book many times throughout, I made it to the end feeling somewhat underwhelmed. I wanted to love this book, after reading ‘The Breakdown’ my expectations were very high. The protagonist of ‘Bring me back’ is Finn. An unlikable, questionable character right from the offset. We learn in the first chapter that 12 years ago his beautiful girlfriend Layla disappeared whilst they were on holiday in France. Finn now lives a comfortable life in a beautiful house with his new fiancée, who just so happens so be Layla’s sister, Ellen. I didn’t feel I really got to know any of the characters; other than the wild and loveable, Layla. The book is sold as a ‘best-seller with a killer twist’, but in my opinion, best to be avoided . 2/5.

This is going to Hurt – Adam Kay

Hilarious yet heart-breaking, this novel tells the story of Kay’s six years practising as a junior doctor. This book is a collection of memoirs which read continuously throughout. This book gave me an insight into the overworked and underpaid life of a ‘junior’ doctor; working within an NHS which is on it’s knees. We learn the mental and physical implications of working in this industry – both personally and professionally. Some of the anecdotes made me laugh out loud, whilst others had me in tears. The poignant open letter to the health secretary right at the very end of the book was written with such passion and elegance it convinced me to recommend the book to literally everyone I’ve spoken to since. 5/5

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