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Dirty Pretty Things by Michael Faudet

Dirty Pretty Things by Michael Faudet

Published 11 Aug 2016 By Andrews McMeel Publishing

Goodreads

Summary: Dirty Pretty Things is the much anticipated book by Michael Faudet.

His whimsical and often erotic writing has already captured the hearts and minds of literally thousands of readers from around the world. He paints vivid pictures with intricate words and explores the compelling themes of love, loss, relationships and sex.

All beautifully captured in poetry, prose, quotes and little short stories.

In the same vein as Lang Leav, Michael Faudet writes good steamy poetry. As the title of the poetry suggests, all of the poems within this book are quite rated. They’re mostly (if not all) about sex, love and relationships.

Just like Lang’s poetry, none of the poetry in Dirty Pretty Things are difficult to comprehend. They’re short, simple and pretty straight forward enough. His poems are quite visual, in the sense that you could imagine it right away. For those who are afraid to start reading poetry, both Michael Faudet and Lang Leav writes very simple poetry.

Most of the pieces revolve around sex, both yearning and wanting and the act itself. I did find that the pieces tend to sound repetitive due to the sexual nature of all of them (there’s only so many ways you could describe sex) but it was overall pretty good. His writing is not as floaty or pretty as Lang’s but both authors are completely different and the topics they write about differ greatly as well.

It is so hard not to compare the two works and authors, but it seems so difficult because Lang and Michael are actually a couple. In some ways you could see that their work compliments each other — one talks about more feelings while the other writes more about the physical aspects of a relationship. I feel like you’d have to read both Lang and Michael’s poetry books to get the whole picture (though both are good individually too) because both reflects greatly about what a relationship is like.

There were a few good pieces that I enjoyed from Dirty Pretty Things and I’m looking forward to pick up his next book of poetry.

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No More Dirty Looks By Siobhan O’Connor and Alexandra Spunt

No More Dirty Looks: The Truth About Your Beauty Products and the Ultimate Guide to Safe and Clean Cosmetics by Siobhan O’Connor and Alexandra Spunt
Published 13 Jul 2010 By Da Capo Lifelong Books

Goodreads

Summary: Your lipstick. Your nail polish. Your conditioner. Most of us don’t realize that the products we use every day can expose us to thousands of chemicals that are readily absorbed through our skin. The impact on your health? It’s not pretty. In this must-read, Siobhan O’Connor and Alexandra Spunt leave no bottle unturned. They found out all kinds of things the cosmetics industry doesn’t want you to know and now they’re going to share it with you.

– The most dangerous ingredients in widely-used brands and how they’re still not regulated
– Insider secrets from top scientists, dermatologists, and experts
– The 100 best clean makeup, hair care, and skin care products
– Cheap and simple do-it-yourself beauty recipes

It’s easy to make the switch to clean cosmetics. From mascara to moisturizers, shampoos to sunscreens, No More Dirty Looks will help you detox your regimen. Now you can be beautiful inside and out – because coming clean is the best look yet.

 

Today’s book review is a little bit different from usual. I’ve been reading a lot of beauty and fashion related books lately and this gem of a book was discovered from one of Anushka Rees’ blog post. I had a hard time finding this book and according to the librarian they no longer stock this on the shelves because its a very old edition. This book was first published in 2010 and there doesn’t seem to be newer editions of this, so I don’t know how accurate the information in this book is and if anything has changed within these 7 years.

No More Dirty Looks discusses about all the harmful chemicals and ingredients that can be found in our every day products like shampoo, body wash and even skin care. The authors discuss at great length about the FDA and what the FDA does and how major companies get their licensing and its horrifyingly shocking how easy it is for anyone to use a large amount of harmful chemicals in our products. It’s even more shocking to know that there are dangerous chemicals even in baby products — and that really speaks volume about how thorough these products are checked through.

The authors list down a series of dangerous chemicals and ingredients and provides alternatives that’s readily available in the market right now for a cheaper price (or slightly more expensive, but a product that is completely free of harmful chemicals) and what names (and alternate names) to look out for. I’ve personally looked through a bunch of my own products and noted that there are a lot of chemicals that were listed in the book, so perhaps not much have changed in the past 7 years.

Its important to note that the book states that out of the thousands of chemicals that were banned in Europe, only a handful have been banned in the US. I don’t know how accurate this information is but it is absolutely terrifying to just think about it.

I think its important for us to try to look into the ingredients that go into our everyday products, especially if we’re using it on large surface areas of our body and on a regular basis. I’m definitely interested to learn more and if there’s other books that has been released lately with more updated information. I urge you to do the same and look into these ingredients — it may be difficult to do a complete overhaul, but at least we could have the chance of making better and smarter choices.

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Sad Girls By Lang Leav

Sad Girls by Lang Leav
Published 30 May 2017 By Andrews McMeel Publishing

Goodreads

Summary: “Your first love isn’t the first person you give your heart to—it’s the first one who breaks it.”

Sad Girls is the much anticipated debut novel from international best-selling author Lang Leav. A beautifully written and emotionally charged coming of age story, where young love, dark secrets, and tragedy collide.

School is almost out for Audrey, but the panic attacks are just beginning. Because Audrey told a lie and now her classmate, Ana, is dead. Just as her world begins to spin out of control, Audrey meets the enigmatic Rad—the boy who could turn it all around. But will their ill-timed romance drive her closer to the edge?

 

Since the day that Lang Leav revealed that she was working on her debut novel, I was already clutching on to my pearls. I knew it was going to be frickin’ good.

I WAS NOT WRONG.

Before you go on thinking that this is a completely biased review, hold on to your horses because it isn’t. I don’t read what I don’t like but Sad Girls, yes, Sad Girls I loved.

There is something so poetic about the way Lang writes. Of course, if you didn’t know her already she’s a poet. I’m sure by now you’ve seen her artwork or poetry floating around twitter, tumblr and instagram but I have loved her work since she released Love & Misadventure. In fact, I’ve already met her thrice. (Read my review on her second poetry book, Lullabies!)

Sad Girls begins with our main protagonist, Audrey, admitting that she did something wrong. She told a lie and now Ana, one of her classmates is dead. The book follows through her struggle to cope with the lie she’s told, her newly found anxiety and then, she meets a boy.

Cliche, am I right? Just wait for it.

Audrey and Rad found each other in a moment of grief. They had an unspoken bound between them that they needed to stay with each other out of necessity. They are two very broken, very lost individuals who needed someone who help carry them forward. This relationship that happened between the two were the natural reactions of two sad souls, desperate for something to hold on to — and in this case, each other. Their romance was a natural progression: in fact, they cut ties from each other, both trying to find their own way through life alone and then later rekindled their love many months later.

Sad Girls talks about mental illness, drug abuse, death and a little bit of LGBTQ+. There are so many diverse characters in this book, each playing a very significant role in Audrey’s life. Almost all the characters in this book is flawed — especially Audrey and that’s what makes Sad Girls a little bit more realistic than the rest. Everyone, even the adults, are just people who are trying their best to get by. It’s not complicated; it’s just reality.

Of course there are times when I felt that Audrey had it too easy (like her job and internship) but it is what helped to drive the story along. I sat on this review for a while because I needed to process the whole book. I loved it, and its easily on of my favourite books of 2017 but there is one glaring problem with Audrey: I still don’t know why she told the lie.

I’d love to see Sad Girls made into a film (I could already picture the scenes in my head while reading this) or even a companion book told in Ana’s point of view. I feel like the epilogue left me longing for more. There’s so much about Ana that we don’t know (only told from the perspective of the other characters) and I feel like she could be an interesting character for us to learn more about.

Sad Girls will be on my mind for a long time to come. Pick it up, read it, and then reread it again.

A lot of literature is about struggle. But I don’t think all writers are sad. I think it’s the other way around — all sad people write. It’s a form of catharsis, a way of working through things that feel unresolved, like undoing a knot. People who are prone to sadness are more likely to pick up a pen.

Sad Girls by Lang Leav

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Bloom: Navigating Life and Style

Bloom: Navigating Life and Style by Estee Lalonde
Published 6 Oct 2016 by Ebury Press

Goodreads

Summary: ‘For me, the word “bloom” encapsulates the idea that anything is possible when you put your mind to it. It’s a word that hints at becoming who you are meant to be.’ Estée Lalonde

In Bloom, Estée shares the moments, people, things and life lessons that have made her who she is today and offers her tips for surviving life. Celebrate your bloom story and what makes you unique.

Youtubers getting book deals seems to be a trend as of late.

I’m actually a fan of Estee’s videos. I love how calm and collected she is and I love her beauty and style content. As a fan, I’m quite disappointed with this book. I loved the opening few pages, but as it went on it, Estee just seemed to glance over all her problems to keep it positive and nice. I feel that her stories were on a very surface level, she didn’t go too in depth, and she didn’t share how she overcame her problems. She just did, and that was that.

I don’t really know what Bloom is supposed to be. Its a mixture of her life story (very briefly explored) and later some bits about beauty, some recepies and about travelling. In a way she is quite relateable. I feel like I could relate to the things she was talking about like anxiety, long distance relationships etc and the way she writes makes it seem like you’re talking to a friend. I went through this book in a day. Its a really quick read, fairly simple to digest. Aesthetically, Bloom is very pleasing. I loved the layout, fonts and pictures. It is very Estee, but other than that, the real content is rather simple. It does remind me a little bit of Tanya Burr’s Love Tanya though it is lacking in the self help portion (though, I don’t think Bloom was meant to be a self help book).

Easy to thumb through if you have the time. Worth buying if you’re into clean aesthetics for the coffee tables, but probably not one for the shelves.

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Mini Reviews: Confessions of a Shopaholic (#5 & #6)

Shopaholic & Baby by Sophie Kinsella
Confessions of a Shopaholic #5
Published 27 Feb 2007 by Dial Press

Goodreads

Summary: Becky Brandon (nee Bloomwood) is pregnant! She couldn’t be more overjoyed-especially since discovering that shopping cures morning sickness. Everything has got to be perfect for her baby: from the designer nursery . . . to the latest, coolest pram . . . to the celebrity, must-have obstetrician.

But when the celebrity obstetrician turns out to be her husband Luke’s glamorous, intellectual ex-girlfriend, Becky’s perfect world starts to crumble. She’s shopping for two . . . but are there three in her marriage?

Mini Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella
Confessions of a Shopaholic #6
Published 21 Sept 2010 by Dial Press

Goodreads

Summary: Sophie Kinsella has dazzled readers with her irresistible Shopaholic novels–sensational international bestsellers that have garnered millions of devoted fans and catapulted her into the first rank of contemporary storytellers. Now her beloved heroine Becky Brandon (nee Bloomwood) returns in a hilarious tale of married life, toddlerhood, and the perils of trying to give a fabulous surprise party–on a budget!

Becky Brandon thought motherhood would be a breeze and that having a daughter was a dream come true: a shopping friend for life! But it’s trickier than she thought. Two-year-old Minnie has a quite different approach to shopping.

Minnie creates havoc everywhere she goes, from Harrods to her own christening. Her favorite word is “Mine!” and she’s even trying to get into eBay! On top of everything else, Becky and Luke are still living with her parents (the deal on house #4 has fallen through), when suddenly there’s a huge financial crisis.

With people having to “cut back,” Becky decides to throw a surprise party for Luke to cheer everyone up. But when costs start to spiral out of control, she must decide whether to accept help from an unexpected source–and therefore run the risk of hurting the person she loves.

Will Becky be able to pull off the celebration of the year? Will she and Luke ever find a home of their own? Will Minnie ever learn to behave? And . . . most important . . . will Becky’s secret wishes ever come true?

 

As the summaries suggests, Becky is now a mother of one tenacious little Minnie Brandon. I really really really loved the addition of Minnie. She’s such a hilarious little girl. Her favourite word is “mine”, and while its completely adorable, she gets a little bit bossy and demanding, kind of like Becky.

Becky does quite a bit of growing up in these two books. She learns how to deal with being a mother, learning how to deal with being told that she’s a shopaholic (yes, someone finally told her!) and dealing how to work with a budget. I feel that her character has definitely grown and developed, especially in book 6. She learns how to handle relationships more carefully and tries even harder to keep things together. She seems more responsible, even.

Again, I have to stress that this book or series isn’t going to be for everyone. Becky and her shopaholic problems may rub people off the wrong way, but this is just one of those books people either love or hate. Either way, this series is fairly simple to get into and its not very deep — they’re very straightforward and easy to digest.

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How To Get Dressed By Alison Freer

How to Get Dressed: A Costume Designer’s Secrets for Making Your Clothes Look, Fit, and Feel Amazing by Alison Freer
Published 14 Apr 2015 by Ten Speed Press

Goodreads

Summary: Costume designer Alison Freer’s styling kit is a magical bag of tricks, built to solve every single wardrobe malfunction on earth. TV and film productions wait for nothing, so her solutions have to work fast. In How to Get Dressed, Alison distills her secrets into a fun, comprehensive style guide focused on rethinking your wardrobe like a fashion expert and making what’s in your closet work for you. She provides real-world advice about everything style-related, including:

• Making every garment you own fit better
• Mastering closet organization
• The undergarments you actually need
• The scoop on tailors and which alterations are worth it
• Shopping thrift and vintage like a rockstar

Instead of repeating boring style “rules,” Alison breaks the rules and gets real about everything from bras to how to deal with inevitable fashion disasters. Including helpful information such as how to skip ironing and the dry cleaners, remove every stain under the sun, and help clueless men get their sartorial acts together, How to Get Dressed has hundreds of insider tips from Alison’s arsenal of tools and expertise.

How to Get Dressed was recently featured in Anuschka Rees’ blog on fashion and style books. After reading Rees’ The Curated Closet and my recent wardrobe revamp, I’ve been more interested in styling and clothes. Fashion has always been something I’m interested in, but its too difficult to get into what with all the fashion do’s and don’ts along with the latest trends. It was just too hard to get into.

The thing I loved about this book and Rees’ is that they’re both simple. They’re books that guide, just as a self help book should. It tells you what to do, how to do it and makes you, the reader, decide consciously about what you want to do. How to Get Dressed isn’t so deep — there are many practical advices on what to do with different stains, introduces you to a series of materials and their function but most importantly, this book focuses on how your clothes fit. The important thing here is that it doesn’t tell you what you should own in your wardrobe, but that whatever you own in your wardrobe should fit you, nicely and perfectly. She’s a great beliver in getting your clothes hemmed, stitched, fixed as long as you fit it. Of course, its not as simple as getting things stitched and restitched — she also tells you how to try the clothes on beforehand, to do certain tests before deciding if its even worth getting it fixed to perfectly fit you.

As a profesionally stylist, I believe she understands body shapes very well and she understands how certain things can be difficult like finding the perfect jeans size or having difficulties finding the right bra. She gets it. And this book is filled with useful practical tips, tricks and hacks for you to look good, without bursting your pocket. This book even includes a guide on bras, panties and even washing and drying your clothes! Small and compact, its another one of those books perfect for your bookshelf that you can refer to every now and then when you need it.

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The Curated Closet By Anuschka Rees

The Curated Closet: A Simple System for Discovering Your Personal Style and Building Your Dream Wardrobe By Anuschka Rees
Published 20 Sept 2016 By Ten Speed Press

Goodreads

Summary: A brilliant and inspirational roadmap for discovering and cultivating a strong sense of personal style and building the ideal wardrobe for your lifestyle.

Many women don’t know what their personal style is, don’t have a wardrobe that actually matches their style or life, and don’t know how to shop for a structured wardrobe of all pieces that can be worn easily and confidently. Style and minimalism blogger Anuschka Rees presents a fascinatingly strategic, prescriptive approach to identifying, refining, and expressing personal style and building the ideal wardrobe to match it, with style and shopping strategies that women can use every day. Including beautiful full-color fashion photography, infographics, and activities, The Curated Closet is a useful guide covering everything women need to know to fully realize their individual style and create their perfect functional and beautiful wardrobe.

The Curated Closet has been such a good help for me. I’ve recently purged a lot of clothes and am in the process of creating a wardrobe that is more me and this book came in so handy. It’s a pretty simple guide book on how to create the perfect curated wardrobe to fit your personal style. It has great introductions on how to sort out your clothes before the great purge, different types of clothing material, colours and good tips on what to do if you want to try a certain look but need to tone it down a little bit.

I’ve read several fashion guide books, but I feel like most of it tells you what’s in and what’s not and I feel like most of it is a repeat of what you either already know or more on following trends and covering basics. The Curated Closet is more for those who is looking to create a more balanced closet that’s geared towards their daily life. It teaches you practical tips that you can use on a daily basis. This would be especially good if you’re about to revamp your wardrobe, revamp your style or trying to figure out what type of style you like and how to mix it all up.

I really enjoyed The Curated Closet. Its one of those practical books you can have in your bookshelf and refer to every now and then. It also includes a practical guide on how to shop practically and well. Its a very all rounded book, I enjoyed it a lot. Its very hard to rate it, personally, because I feel that self help books are really up to the individual’s taste. The Curated Closet gets a 3 from me, because it is useful and in depth — its also quite engaging because it has activities for you to do but I do feel that its quite heavy in a sense that you have to invest quite a lot of time to read through, think and work on the activities. If you’re looking for a fashion guide book flat out tells you what to buy, this is probably not for you. But if you’re interested to shop more consciously and have a wardrobe that you will wear all year round, this book is geared more for you. Overall a useful an great book and great addition to the bookshelf and coffee table.

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Crazy is My Superpower By AJ Mendez Brooks

Crazy is My Superpower By AJ Mendez Brooks
Published 4 April 2017 By Penguin Random House

Goodreads

Summary: Three-time WWE Diva’s Champion A.J. Brooks’ Crazy is My Superpower is a literary memoir chronicling her unlikely rise from 100-pound nerd growing up in extreme poverty and enduring years of abuse to international sex symbol and professional wrestling champion (known as A.J. Lee). A.J. fought against stereotypes, forced the men in her industry to view her with respect, and inspired a huge fan base of over 2 million Twitter followers with her fierce independent streak.

I cried. Literally.

If you are not familiar with the name AJ Mendez Brooks, formerly known as AJ Lee, she was one of the top female wrestlers for the WWE. She came, she conquered until the day she retired on her own terms.

AJ is my role model for many reasons. Growing up I’ve always admired the strong female wrestlers on TV. In a sport that’s mostly dominated by men, the women wrestlers were relegated to being valets, managers, or used for half time dance sessions in their underwear. But long gone are the days where women of wrestling are used as eye candy. They wrestle, they take bumps, they fight — literally. While there are many who could be attributed to helping lead the way of the women’s revolution amongst wrestlers, I personally feel that AJ helped mould our current group of female wrestlers. She was different — she wasn’t those tough chicks, she was skinny, small and packaged as a geek goddess (which she was). She appealed to young girls, older girls, males and females alike. There’s something special about her that forces people to look.

She was one of my favourite wrestlers (and still is!) and though I’m so sad that I can no longer see her on TV, I’m so happy she released a memoir. I preordered this and finally, it came and I devoured it in days. I loved learning more about her background. She came from nothing, from actual poverty, had her fair share of shit and was later diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

This book is important. Its revelant, not just for wrestling fans, but for non wrestling fans as well. She tackles the book in a simple tongue in cheek manner, its not difficult to get into the book at all. She talks in great lengths about her struggle with a bipolar mother, and later, her struggle being bipolar herself. I believe the book will help a lot of people — people who feel they are margianalised for being different, people who were bullied, people who suffer through mental illnesses. My favourite part is that she’s trying to break the stigma against the word crazy, against mental illness. There’s nothing to be ashamed of. Things happen, and you are not alone.

Read, open your mind and heart. You are never alone. This one will be on my favourite shelf for a long time (and by that I mean forever).

 

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Mini Reviews: Confessions of a Shopaholic (#2 – #4) By Sophie Kinsella

Shopaholic Takes Manhattan By Sophie Kinsella
Confessions of a Shopaholic #2
Published 29 Jan 2002 By Dial Press Trade Paperback

Goodreads

Summary: With her shopping excesses (somewhat) in check and her career as a TV financial guru thriving, Becky Bloomwood’s biggest problem seems to be tearing her entrepreneur boyfriend, Luke, away from work for a romantic country weekend. That is, until Luke announces he’s moving to New York for business—and he asks Becky to go with him! Before you can say “Prada sample sale,” Becky has landed in the Big Apple, home of Park Avenue penthouses and luxury department stores.

Surely it’s only a matter of time until Becky becomes an American celebrity. She and Luke will be the toast of Gotham society. Nothing can stand in their way, especially with Becky’s bills an ocean away in London. But then an unexpected disaster threatens her career prospects, her relationship with Luke, and her available credit line. Becky may have taken Manhattan—but will she have to return it?


Shopaholic Ties the Knot By Sophie Kinsella
Confessions of a Shopaholic #3
Published 31 Aug 2004 By Dell Publishing Company

Goodreads

Summary: Life has been good for Becky Bloomwood: She’s become the best personal shopper at Barneys, she and her successful entrepreneurial boyfriend, Luke, are living happily in Manhattan’s West Village, and her new next-door neighbor is a fashion designer! But with her best friend, Suze, engaged, how can Becky fail to notice that her own ring finger is bare? Not that she’s been thinking of marriage (or diamonds) or anything . . . Then Luke proposes! Bridal registries dance in Becky’s head. Problem is, two other people are planning her wedding: Becky’s overjoyed mother has been waiting forever to host a backyard wedding, with the bride resplendent in Mum’s frilly old gown. While Luke’s high-society mother is insisting on a glamorous, all-expenses-paid affair at the Plaza. Both weddings for the same day. And Becky can’t seem to turn down either one. Can everyone’s favorite shopaholic tie the knot before everything unravels?

Shopaholic on Honeymoon By Sophie Kinsella
Confessions of a Shopaholic #3.5
Published 10 Dec 2014 by Transworld Digital

Goodreads

Summary: The new Mr and Mrs Brandon are on honeymoon, and Becky has big plans! They’ve got a whole year to explore Venice, learn yoga in India, sleep in little wooden huts in South America… maybe even see penguins in the Arctic. And of course they’ll need to buy just a few essential souvenirs along the way (everyone needs a set of Murano glass goblets, after all).

 

They’re not just tourists, they’re travellers. Becky is sure it is just the thing that Luke needs – time to unwind. He’ll come back a changed man… with all the good bits still intact of course.

But it soon becomes clear that Luke has different plans entirely. Can Becky help him let go, or will this little disagreement threaten their whole honeymoon?

Shopaholic and Sister By Sophie Kinsella
Confessions of a Shopaholic #4
Published 30 Aug 2005 By Dial Press Trade Paperback

Goodreads

Summary: Trouble between newly weds Luke and Becky Brandon started on their honeymoon, when Becky told a tiny fib about a shopping purchase. Luke put her on a budget and she’s struggling.

 

But things look up when, on her return, she finds out she’s got a long-lost sister. But Becky’s sister isn’t what she expects – her sister can’t, surely, hate shopping … ?

This series seems to get A LOT of flack from people. I don’t know why! OK, so maybe Becky Bloomwood is kind of silly and she doesn’t learn her lesson even after 4 books (let alone all 8…) but aside from her very obvious shopping problem, Becky is such a hilarious character. She’s so colourful, so silly yet so smart in her own right. We keep forgetting that she’s a former financial journalist and had a very popular television gig going for her before it all went to dust. She’s such a determined and strong character, a little ditzy, but she makes up for much of it with her other pleasant qualities. It’s so hard to hate Becky, personally. She’s such a charming character, its rather hard to put her off.

People say this book should have ended ages ago — she should have learnt her lesson by now. But, so what if she hasn’t? I think that’s the way people are. I personally have a bit of a spending problem myself, and sometimes its hard to accept that we have such problems and its even harder to kick the habit. I find that her character is quite realistic in that sense — it makes her quite human, although that can make her unlikeable to many. To each their own, I suppose.

The books are very fun in general. As the title suggests, Becky gets into all kinds of trouble, from moving to New York, to getting married, and finally meeting her long-lost sister. It’s a very quick and fun easy read, mindless almost. The books aren’t deep, they’re not supposed to be. They’re just very very fun and addictive. I read them one after another — and if you love the idea of following a shopaholic on a life journey through clothes and hidden bank statements, then pick these books up.

In fact, I’ve only just found out that Sophie Kinsella has written a #3.5 of what happens during Becky and Luke’s honeymoon. Its available to read for free on her website. Enjoy reading, folks!

 

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Viral By Helen Fitzpatrick

Viral By Helen Fitzpatrick
Published: 11 Aug 2016 by Faber Faber

Goodreads

Summary: So far, twenty-three thousand and ninety-six people have seen me online.

Su has always been the successful sister. It’s Leah who is wild and often angry. But when they go to Magaluf to celebrate their exam results, Su disappears.

Su is on the run, humiliated and afraid. There’s an online video of her performing multiple sex acts in a nightclub. And everyone has seen it.

Their mother Ruth, a prominent court judge, is furious. Can she bring justice to the men who took advantage of her daughter, and what will it take to bring Su home?

‘Read it.’ Stylist

‘Gripping.’ Tammy Cohen, author of When She Was Bad

‘A real psychological roller-coaster.’ Scotsman

 

TW: Sexual abuse, drug and alcohol abuse, attempted rape

OK. From the trigger warning alone, you probably might have guessed what this book is about. I couldn’t stop thinking about this book for days. Days. I kept thinking and thinking and thinking and I just — I can’t find the words to explain how I really feel about it.

I’ve never read a Helen Fitzpatrick before. I came across this book randomly at a library and the first line got to me. I can’t share it here because it’s of very sexual nature but it gripped me. I’ve never read a book that’s so straightforward before. And just like its opening line, the book is pretty straightforward — it doesn’t hide away any of the gory bits, doesn’t shun away from the reality of what society could be like, the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse, the real problem about recording and uploading videos — the idea of consent. This book really dives into the problems that our current society and youths of today are facing. Its raw, its real, its scary. It makes you keep reading in fear. You keep reading because its one of those books you just NEED to know the ending to.

This doesn’t mean the book doesn’t have flaws. I had a problem with the main character Su and I had a problem with her mother. Su isn’t a perfect main character. I don’t think Fitzpatrick intended for her to be. She’s a broken character, disguised behind a forced perfection. She doesn’t belong, she’s desperate. But — I couldn’t understand what came after. I couldn’t understand her sudden desperation to lose her virginity, I couldn’t understand her frame of mind that would make her consider that a top priority when she’s supposedly trying to run away from the problem: the sexual video. Maybe it’s just one of those things I don’t understand, but that’s okay. Su’s mother on the other hand, though I get that she’s reacting out of anger, there’s a lot about the chapters from her point of view that left me wondering. I didn’t quite understand if portions of it were flashbacks, or if she really went out of her way to dress up as someone else to seduce a man. Her chapters were kind of messy, it was hard to keep track of what she was doing. Is this Fitzpatrick’s intention? She’s a woman who is ruffled to the core, equally desperate, if not more, and trying to save her daughter. Is this why she’s messy? Or has this suddenly gone way too deep?

Well.

Truth is, Viral has been on my mind for weeks after I finished it. I couldn’t properly write a review because I just didn’t know how I felt. I wanted more, the ending, I wanted a proper revenge. I just felt that after all the trouble they went through, the closure they decided on was too little, too small. It didn’t end with a big impact as much as I had hoped and it was a little bit of a let down. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed Viral. I flew through it really quickly and its one of those books that’s really hard to put down. If you’re looking for a kind of quick thriller, try picking up Viral.