allyjshand's reviews
166 reviews

The Mothers, by Brit Bennett

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challenging dark emotional reflective sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.5

Such a complex character-driven novel. Bennett has a talent of making you simultaneously love and hate a character. Would have loved to have delved further into some of the characters’ pasts and family relationships.

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Gun Love, by Jennifer Clement

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adventurous dark reflective tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5

One of the most beautifully written novels that I have read; I found myself highlighting passage after passage. I fell in love with Pearl -  with her simultaneous childhood innocence and wisdom - and the diverse cast of characters.
Convenience Store Woman, by Sayaka Murata

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dark funny lighthearted reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

A completely unique and quirky Japanese novel. Sharing similar themes to her other novel ‘Earthlings’, Murata provides a commentary on society, gender roles and social norms. Beautifully written and full of deadpan humour.
Exciting Times, by Naoise Dolan

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challenging funny reflective slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

A modern story of love and relationships, interlaced with political and cultural commentary. 
Earthlings, by Sayaka Murata

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challenging dark emotional reflective sad tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.25

Definitely a difficult read to rate. A surreal experience from start to finish. I would not describe reading this novel as enjoyable, but it was certainly gripping. Murata raises many relevant topics such as gender roles and social norms in a unique and unforgettable way. However, I think that this novel was too dark and graphic for my personal taste. Nonetheless, I am still glad to have read this book.

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The Monogram Murders, by Sophie Hannah

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funny lighthearted mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

2.5

Whilst I enjoyed joining Poirot for another of his adventures to exercise my little grey cells, I found myself less engaged in this book than others of Agatha Christie’s work. It was well written however, in my opinion, the plot was overcomplicated and could have been more concise.
Little Deaths, by Emma Flint

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dark emotional sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.25

An interesting crime / feminist read set in 60s America. Whilst I enjoyed the glimpses of Ruth’s perspective, I was somewhat I disengaged by the observations of Pete and his apparent obsession with Ruth. On the other hand, his uncomfortable behaviour feeds into the narrative of Ruth’s objectification and maltreatment.

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My Dad Wrote a Porno: The fully annotated edition of Rocky Flintstone's Belinda Blinked, by Alice Levine, Jamie Morton, Rocky Flintstone, James Cooper

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funny lighthearted fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

Completely bonkers and utterly brilliant.

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