His Reality (2019) by Dakota Matos is a good read.
The plot follows the story of protagonist Michael who is in high school and his prom is coming up. But he is having some visions lately which he isn’t sure are real or not.
I think the plot is very good and interesting. Domestic abuse is highlighted in the book and I think that was a very important issue to bring into the book. Highlighting that toxicity was something I appreciated very much. I also liked the characters of Samantha and Crasco. They seemed cool. I liked the way the plot changed because it was interesting and different but I did get a bit confused through that about what was happening especially towards the end.
I liked the book but I didn’t really like Michael and James to be honest and a lot of the book is about Michael and James and their stories and reactions to things so that made it less interesting for me. That’s of course subjective so other readers might like them and might find the read more enjoyable but all in all, a good read.
Poems About Us (2015) by N.E. Wilson is a great poetry collection.
N.E. Wilson is a pseudonym of Vera West and a previous book I read by her called Define was brilliant so I was looking forward to reading this book and it didn’t disappoint.
The book is a collection of ten poems which deal with numerous important issues like depression, racism and how so many aspects of life all combine together to cause pain and frustration. All the poems are amazing but two stand outs for me were Bite and Don’t. Both highlight racial inequality but very different aspects of it but you can see how the everyday racism in Don’t feeds the vicious racism in Bite but how both are as dangerous as each other because they feed off each other.
It is a deeply thought-provoking collection. Gorgeously put together. Very conversational, down-to-earth slices of life and everything is described brilliantly throughout.
I loved it. It’s a must-read.
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Dear Santa (2016) by Ray Bradbury is a great short read which is part of Mulholland Books’s Strand Originals series.
The plot is about a teenage boy who still believes in Santa and lines up with the children at the mall to meet Santa and understand Santa more.
It is very short and can be read in one sitting. I found it really endearing and sweet. The dialogue is really great and I like how Bradbury wrote the character of the young teenage boy with kindness and understanding, that came through in the writing, instead of making a laugh of him. He highlighted the treatment someone can face in the teenager’s situation very well and how it can make a person feel like they are stupid or pathetic when in fact they very much aren’t.
It is extremely short and there maybe needed to be more detail and plot worked into it which would be my only flaw but overall, a really great read. A really lovely, original write written with a lot of warmth and heart.
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The A.B.C. Murders (1936) by Agatha Christie is an amazing Hercule Poirot read.
The book has a clever plot. Christie’s use of the alphabet for the murders is intriguing. First Alice Asher in Andover is murdered followed by Betty Bernard in Bexhill followed by Sir Carmichael Clarke in Churston. But then George Earlsfield is killed in Doncaster and there is question marks over whether it is the names the pattern follows, the places the pattern follows or something else altogether.
I really enjoyed it. The subplots in the story are all very interesting and tie together well at the end. I thought Christie’s idea to get the loved ones of those who were killed to investigate the cases was great because it helped us get to know these characters well as well as adding to the intrigue. I particularly liked Donald Fraser as a character. He was complex, had a bit of a temper but had a good heart. He was interesting.
The ending worked in a way. It became a bit too obvious too soon who done it though and why so that would be my only flaw. With all the suspense built up so wonderfully throughout, it was a pity that the suspense didn’t quite last to the end or at least near the end but mystery endings are so, so hard to get right but it was a pity.
Nonetheless, a fantastic read and I wouldn’t expect anything else from Christie. 🙂
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Bed, Death And Breakfast (2019) by Colin Garrow is a great short read.
The story is about a young couple Angela and Ed who go to stay in a hotel but soon Angela is unnerved by the head of the hotel Mr Hossenfeffor. Mystery surrounds Mr Hossenfeffor’s wife and his fascination with blood.
I found it a great read, great atmosphere painted throughout and you are never really sure where the story is going so there was great suspense too. I don’t want to give much away but I thought that the premise for the story was really good and original. An original twist on a classic tale. The story kept my attention from beginning to end and it is really well-written.
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Define (2017) by Vera West is a great collection of micro-poetry.
Structured in the style of a dictionary, West writes short poems in alphabetical order and covers the vast majority of the spectrum of emotions in the course of the book. The poetry is really great and I love the creativity and freshness to how this book is all put together. It’s a very clever idea.
I also love how it’s kind of saying we all define words and what they mean in our own way. That’s how it came across to me in any case, I’m not sure if that was the poet’s intention or not but if it was I thought that was cool. The imagery is brilliant too. Very vividly painted poems in so few words. Brevity is definitely not a strong point of mine so I was very impressed with that. An author who I will read more from in the future for sure but this was a really great and inventive introduction to her work.
A great read.
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Crying in Color (2020) by Amanda Lucinda is an amazing poetry collection.
The poems deal with important themes like racism and the way it can have detrimental impacts upon peoples’ lives in numerous different ways. The poet speaks about racism in all it’s ugly forms from the subtle, everyday racism people of color face to the murdering of people of color. The poetry is honest, raw and thought-provoking. It is also very down-to-earth and accessible. This is totally the kind of writing I love. There’s an honesty, there’s a message, there is a hope for change and it’s all very conversational, very much written from the heart. I love how the writing in this collection doesn’t pander to the masses and is so truthful. I just adore that kind of writing.
Every poem here is amazing but I just want to draw attention to a poem called RIP, my son. (A poetry tribute to Ahmaud Arbery). I hadn’t heard about the case prior to reading the collection and afterwards I looked it up. The poem is about a young African-American man Ahmaud Arbery who was shot in Georgia in February of this year. The poem in this book is both a beautiful and poignant tribute to his memory.
A really brilliant collection. I definitely intend to read more by this writer in the future. A must-read.
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Shelter From The Storm (2020) by Yumi Cox is a wonderful romance.
Businessman Dawson Jones meets fashion designer Michelle Handley in London after he goes into a club to shelter from the storm. The bartender tells him that the bar is The Way-Out which is a bar by day and a transgender nightclub at night. The bartender also tells him that a drag show is on tonight with the owner Vicky Lee MCing and that Courtney Act is going to be a special guest. At the intermission, Dawson and Michelle leave to have a meal somewhere quieter and get to know each other before they go back to Michelle’s place for well, desert.
I really enjoyed the book. Dawson and Michelle are both great characters, very fun and down-to-earth, and their chemistry is amazing. It was cool to see a cis guy and a trans girl falling in love in the story. We need to see more of that in fiction. The dialogue flowed throughout, it was very natural, very true to life which I love. There was some erotica in this which I don’t mind at all but I think readers who prefer romance books and prefer the sexual side to be behind closed doors need to know that it very much isn’t here! But for those who don’t mind a bit of erotica it was very hot! 🙂
I also on a side note loved seeing Courtney Act making a cameo in the book as she is one of my favourite drag artists. 🙂
Excellent writing. I will definitely be reading more by this author in the future. A must-read.
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The Murder On The Links (1923) by Agatha Christie is an early Hercule Poirot mystery.
Set in Merlinville-sur-Mer in France, Poirot is there to investigate a case after he gets a letter from Monsieur Paul Renauld seeking his assistance immediately. Unfortunately when Poirot gets to Renauld, he is dead. His body is found on the golf course hence the title of the book. Meanwhile Renauld’s wife is tied up and gagged in her room. When the police believe they have found the killer, Poirot must act fast in the pursuit of justice.
I liked the book. The mystery was very cleverly put together. I really enjoyed the dynamics between Poirot and Giraud. I think Hastings annoyed a lot of people in this book and I can see where they were coming from. He was slightly irritating here but I didn’t mind too much really. He was giddy and in love and I like a bit of romance so he didn’t overly annoy me but I get where people are coming from. There was moments I was like Hastings, honey please! 🙂
I think everything was very well described throughout. There was no loopholes, everything was tied up nicely at the end. I enjoyed it.
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A Tale for Halloween (2016) by Colin Garrow is a great short read.
The plot is about two children Sarah and Simon who go to a Halloween party but at the party their friend Peter goes missing so they decide to look for him in the woods.
There is great suspense built up in so few words and the pacing of the suspense is done well throughout. Great storytelling, very classic Halloween-like, and a perfect read to enjoy while having a coffee, tea or whatever. A lot packed in and the scenes were very well-described too.
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