The Wave by Morton Rhue

The Wave
The Wave by Morton Rhue

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book is based around a true event that happened in a Californian school which involved psychological manipulation of the students. I believe there are film adaptations of this story as well.

Our main character Laurie begins to worry when a seemingly harmless movement known as the ‘Wave’ takes over her school. Started by a teacher who wanted to give a better idea of what it would be like to be a Nazi, the idea slowly takes hold – her schoolmates are saluting, marching and chanting. But when saluting turns to violence someone needs to stand up and bring an end to the Wave, will they manage it? and what will they learn in the process?

An incredibly interesting read, I have been reading a lot of WW1 and WW2 based novels this year and this one was unlike any of the others I have picked up. I would highly recommend to all ages, especially if you are learning about WW2 – I think this one could bring up some brilliant discussions in class, I wish I had read it whilst at school!

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Parts One and Two by J.K. Rowling and John Tiffany

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Parts One and Two
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Parts One and Two by John Tiffany

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a very so-so novel for me. I wanted to love it but it definitely fell short of my expectations.

I feel torn with this book, it had moments that I really loved but I feel a lot of those were simply playing on old emotions from the original Harry Potter books. The plot is very bizarre (I have a feeling it would be much better to actually go and see this played out rather than simply reading the stage directions) – I found myself laughing at how ridiculous the story was and couldn’t quite believe this came from the same woman who brought us the other books.

A very quick read – it’s definitely one you could get through in an afternoon, I am glad I read it but don’t think I’ll be picking it up again in the future. I would however love to see it enacted on stage.

The Mad Ship by Robin Hobb

The Mad Ship
The Mad Ship by Robin Hobb

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the second book in the Liveship Trader’s trilogy and I thought it was brilliant!

As I read more of Robin Hobb’s work I am slowly falling more and more in love. This trilogy follows many characters and spans not only land but the ocean as well. We primarily follow a young lady called Althea as she attempts to save her families liveship (a liveship is a ship that has a living figurehead). Not only do we sail the sea with Althea, we also hear of pirates, dragons and magical tree-top cities. This trilogy honestly has such an array of exciting things going on I’m sure there is something for everyone to love!

4 out of 5 stars and keep your eyes peeled for my review of the final book in the trilogy – coming soon 🙂

White is for Witching by Helen Oyeyemi

White is for Witching
White is for Witching by Helen Oyeyemi

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was very close to putting this book down as I wasn’t getting on with it at all, but I stuck with it and soon found myself falling head over heels!

This one follows the Silver family who run a bed and breakfast in Dover – Luc and the twins, Miranda and Eliot. You soon learn that Lily (the wife and mother) has passed away. Not only has this caused strife within the family, the house appears to be reacting as well. We soon learn that generations of the Silver family women are living within the walls of the B&B. Miranda is able to hear these spirits and we slowly see the effect they are having on her mental health. As the novel moves we unfold the secrets of this house, when Miranda goes missing – where will they find her?

This one left me feeling unsettled and I thought it was brilliant – once I got used to the writing style I found myself completely gripped. I would highly recommend this one for a dark winter’s night!

A Room with a View by E.M. Forster

A Room with a View
A Room with a View by E.M. Forster

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A quaint little classic following the endearing Miss Lucy Honeychurch.

Whilst on holiday in Italy Lucy encounters many flamboyant and interesting people and finds herself a little overwhelmed on a number of occasions. Under the watchful eye of her chaperone, and somewhat overbearing cousin she tries to make the most of her time away from England. On returning home she soon finds herself the love interest of two charming young men – what will Lucy do?

I thoroughly enjoyed this one, it was a perfect read for a summers day!

The Girls by Emma Cline

The Girls
The Girls by Emma Cline

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

An enjoyable read for the summer – I wasn’t completely blown-away but would recommend to others.

We follow a woman named Evie as she looks back on her teenage years when she was involved in a cult-like group of people led by a man named Russell – by the end of their time together the group had committed numerous murders.

It’s the summer of 1969 and Evie sees a group of girls at the local park, these girls seem free and completely captivate her – she wants part of what they have and slowly becomes obsessed with them. She eventually gets invited to the ranch where Russell and his group of friends are living. Here we learn of Russell’s deviant nature and his tastes for young women. As the summer goes on Evie becomes more and more uncomfortable with the way things are going at the ranch and the increasingly dangerous things that Russell is encouraging the girls to partake in. How will it all end?

This was a good quick read and I would recommend during the summer as it fits perfectly with this time of year. The book is split into parts – some where we are with Evie in 1969 and others where we are with Evie in her later years looking back. I don’t know whether the older Evie added much to the story and think it would of worked just as well if the whole story had been from the 1969 Evie. Current day Evie didn’t seem to show any remorse or have any criticisms of the actions she had taken so it seemed a little unnecessary to have the two time frames. This book is loosely based on the real-life murders committed by the Manson family, under the direction of Charles Manson who still currently resides in prison for his crimes.

Brain On Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan

Brain On Fire: My Month of Madness
Brain On Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Phenomenal – undoubtedly the best non-fiction book I have read so far this year.

This a non-fiction book in which Susannah Cahalan has documented a month of complete horror for herself and her family – a month when she went from being a completely ‘normal’ 24 year old woman to being strapped onto a gurney in a hospital with doctors and nurses contemplating admitting her to a psychiatric ward. It began with flu like symptoms which slowly evolved into constant paranoia – she experienced seizures but the doctors kept telling her to quit drinking, that drinking too much and working too hard was her problem. It got to the point where she believed her own father was an imposter and had battered her step-mother to death. This was when she was finally admitted into a hospital, only for a month of fear and exhaustion to take over – the doctors couldn’t work out what was wrong with her…and time was running out. Susannah’s brain was on fire, it was slowly shutting off and destroying everything that made her who she was. How were they to save her?

This book blew my mind – it had me completely sucked in the whole way through and I had to keep reminding myself that all of this was TRUE. If you need a non-fiction recommendation then this should be your pick! Susannah has since done TED talks and appeared on TV to raise awareness of what happened to her – I don’t want to say what was actually wrong with her as that was the whole point of the book, the suspense was incredible. To top it off, Susannah is a journalist and has writing this book in an extremely digestible way, it was like talking to a friend. Go, read!