Saturday, 15 July 2017

Book Reviews Feat. Meghan Hunter & A TBR

book reviews patricia lockwood emma jane unsworth meghan hunter book bloggers in the uk vivatramp

Summer is finally here in the UK which means it's time to buckle down and read in the sun before it disappears / attempt to read but ultimately fall asleep because you aren't sleeping much and everything is an extra effort. Anyway...

In June, I read three books: a stunning novella, a novel about a wayward friendship and a surreal poetry collection. 
reAD.

the end we start from meghan hunter book blog vivatramp
FINISHED: 05/06/17 | PAGES: 160  | ISBN: 0802126898 
In the midst of a mysterious environmental crisis, as London is submerged below flood waters, a woman gives birth to her first child, Z. Days later, the family are forced to leave their home in search of safety. As they move from place to place, shelter to shelter, their journey traces both fear and wonder as Z's small fists grasp at the things he sees, as he grows and stretches, thriving and content against all the odds. This is a story of new motherhood in a terrifying setting: a familiar world made dangerous and unstable, its people forced to become refugees.

A meditation on motherhood and making sense of that responsibility in a world with a looming expiration date, The End We Start From is a novella that deserves all of the praise it has been getting.  

Hunter offers up delicate vignettes that describe the smallest and most unassuming of things against a landscape and situation that is anything but isolated. The country is slowly being submerged. Home doesn't look the same anymore. She takes familiar post-apocalyptic themes, of loss and domesticity, responsibility and weathered determination, and makes them all the more haunting by setting them in a world that isn't too different from ours. If you like hulking great dystopias full of re-imagined worlds and new-world politics, this isn't for you. If you love careful poetic novellas, think Grief is The Thing with Feathers, then you need to pick this up immediately. 

A stunning novella, that is both sorrowful and hopeful, that you'll want to re-read straight away. Read it on a rainy afternoon before it hits the big screen. 

RATING: 

homeland fatherland homelandsexuals book blog vivatramp

FINISHED: 15/06/17 | PAGES: 80  | ISBN: 0143126520
Colloquial and incantatory, the poems in Patricia Lockwood’s second collection address the most urgent questions of our time, like: what if a deer did porn? Is America going down on Canada? What happens when Niagara Falls gets drunk at a wedding? Is it legal to marry a stuffed owl exhibit? What would Walt Whitman’s tit-pics look like? Why isn’t anyone named Gary anymore? Did the Hatfield and McCoy babies ever fall in love? The steep tilt of Lockwood’s lines sends the reader snowballing downhill, accumulating pieces of the scenery with every turn. The poems’ subject is the natural world, but their images would never occur in nature. 

This collection is wild! There's a man attempting to marry a stuffed owl exhibit, ffs. These poems, whilst out there, read like stoking fires rumbling into existence, with the more surreal elements alluding to very real societal issues, trauma and pressures. It reads like a transcript of 3am post-party conversations with your mate, full of bumbling questions that you pose in lulls of late night conversation such as: 'Why aren't babies called Gary anymore?'. 

Whilst this collection didn't burrow down deep into my mind, it was fun, delightfully messy and creative, and it inspired me to be a little more loose with my own poetry. Read some of her poems online to see whether this is a worthwhile purchase for you. Lockwood's newly-released memoir, Priestdaddy, sounds interesting so you may see her grace these book reviews again in the future.  

RATING: 

animals emma jane unsworth book blog vivatramp uk

FINISHED: 11/05/17 | PAGES: 256  | ISBN: 178211212x 

Laura and Tyler are two young women who have been tearing up the city streets for ten years, leaving a trail of angry drug dealers and spent men in their wake. Now Laura is engaged to be married and her teetotal classical pianist fiancĂ©, Jim, is always overseas. Tyler wants to keep the party going but Laura is torn between the constant temptations provided by her best friend and a calmer life with Jim on the horizon. As the wedding draws closer, the duo's limits are tested, along with their friendship. 

I was sat on my bed one afternoon in June and I suddenly got the urge to pull this book from my shelf, despite the fact that it had been on my shelves for several years. I love reading about women and their mates and all the bad and messed up decisions they make and this offered all of that in spades. Animals is brash, laugh out loud funny, heartfelt and exactly what I needed to read at the time. My heart was in it from the get go and that doesn't happen very often. It ebbed and flowed, ceaselessly, and never felt try-hard or too Skins season 1. The characters were messy, as were the situations they found themselves in, and I found that so vital. Laura and Tyler felt so real to me. 

One of my favourite things about it was how it explored the romance in friendships, the frantic highs and the awfully shit lows, the strained loyalty and the shy forgiveness. Unsworth took great time and care when highlighting  all the things that we do and say to one another in the pursuit of love or something better and it hit me hard.  

Read this in the space of a day and thank me. I'm kicking myself that I let this sit unread for so long. A new favourite!

RATING: 

to be read pile sylvia brownrigg sarah stovell book blog

to be READ.
This month, I'm in the mood for two books that are so new to my collection that I haven't actually shared them with you yet. Scandalous!
I'm in the mood for reading about a queer romance to ease myself back in and this book, newly re-published with a much better cover, promises just that. There has been a lot of positive buzz for Pages for You, and its follow up Pages for Her, so I think I will try and read this in as few reads as possible.

My reading has been extremely slow this year and that's something I want to rectify. I think I may be able to kickstart it a little with a well-written thriller and Exquisite sounds like the perfect fit. 

Both of these books will feature in my next book haul, so stay tuned if you want to find out more about them! 

If you aren't bored to tears, you can read all of my other book blog posts. Or, scroll through my book reviews instead. 

Links to books are affiliate links. If you don't fancy any of these books but would still like to use my link to purchase some books with, please use my general Book Depository link. Thanks, pals! 



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2 comments

  1. i've added 'animals' to my reading list as it sounds so up my street! thanks for the reviews x

    www.thedressdiaries.co.uk

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  2. Adding these to my to read list for sure... All of these interest me. Thanks for sharing!

    Hannah | Stories Of A Telescope

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