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Wilder Girls, Rory Power; Review

Wild is in the name and it is certainly fitting for this book about friendship, humanity, but ultimately survival. I was absolutely engrossed in each and every twisting page of Rory Power’s novel about a quarantined Boarding School that has been struck by an unnerving virus.


The book opens from the first person perspective of Hetty, and begins with everything already in motion; in that the virus, named The Tox, is already established and has already wrecked havoc within the school causing major illnesses and death. It becomes clear that the island that is home to the Boarding School has been abandoned and the girls are instructed to wait for a cure and must remain in quarantine. What I really loved about this was how matter of fact it seemed for the characters and how they just laid everything bare for the reader to see. Usually when there is a storyline about a virus; the outbreak is the big shocking event that the plot leads up to, whereas here it had already happened. The fact that Hetty spoke so offhandedly about it really vocalised how much the character’s have had to adapt to survive. The rest of the book really solidifies this and it really tests the girl’s to their limits to see how far they are willing to go in order to live.

That’s what really struck home about this book for me personally. It felt like the farther I got into the book the more wild I became; as if I truly were on this journey with them. The brutal imagery and even weirdly gross descriptions were shocking and unexpected for a YA but made it all the more intriguing. I could feel the need to survive, and to adapt. There were some moments where I felt like I didn’t get all the answers I craved (especially in regard to The Tox itself) but in retrospect I don’t think I needed them. I was left in the same boat as Hetty, Reese, and Byatt; uncertain and reeling. Hetty came to the conclusion that she didn’t really need to know how it had happened to them; just that it did and in some weird ways it brought them closer together. Similarly with Byatt who at times acted as though she didn’t want a cure, knew that this event had changed the girls not just physically. I was really intrigued by her and as it emerged she was more morally grey of a character I enjoyed her even more. I think its very easy to make characters seem nice and angelic when something bad happens to them so that the event seems undeserving, but in Byatt’s case it was all the more affirming that it could be anyone and despite her questionable attributes; Hetty and Reese would have done anything for her proving that friendship, and loyalty really drives this novel.

Another aspect of this novel that I truly loved was the fact that it was LGBTQ+ but also that it was done naturally. Having Reese as a queer character didn’t feel as though it was done to add diversity for the sake of diversity but to further the dynamics and layers created what this story aimed to tell; what people would or wouldn’t do for those they truly care for. I didn’t once feel like the romance was detracting from the narrative or the plot in any way, but that it just so happened to be a side plot that felt natural, empathetic, and truly representative. I think there are some key scenes that showcase this which include Reese’s father, boatshift, and the ending as a whole because it also demonstrates that YA romance isn’t always fluffy and easy but that its hard and that actions have consequences; especially in a world were survival is your priority.

Wilder Girls was truly unique. I particularly loved the descriptions (although sometimes quite graphic) about how the Tox changed these girls; the bloody sores, the second spine, the sealed eye, and the silver hand, were all nontypical and refreshingly different to read about. They weren’t pretty; they were brutal and honest. The only real issue I had with this book was sometimes the writing style, although done purposefully to reflect the characters not being coherent, was slightly stunting and awkward to read. I think this was primarily down to the fact that it was first person but once I got into the story I didn’t notice it all that much and was able to get past it.

This book was actually a buddy read with my wonderful friend Lauren, who you can find on Bookstragram as LittleBookishFairy. We actually demolished this book reading over half of it in one sitting while frantically messaging each other at 1am. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it with her and talking through all our theories together because it is a book that keeps you wondering why in the back of your mind. I would definitely recommend Wilder Girls for a feminist, well represented, and interesting read that is different to the norm. Its intriguing, fast paced, and really makes you think about survival and friendship.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

The Silent Patient, Alex Michaelides; Review

See no evil, hear no evil, but most definitely speak no evil. This psychological thriller explores the aftermath of a murder when the killer decides to never speak again and is institutionalised in a medial facility.

I saw quite a bit of buzz surrounding this novel and finally decided to take the plunge this October to read it. I did the typical bookworm thing where I envisioned spooky chapters but I’d still be safe with my lamp on and firmly snuggled within the cosy depths of my blanket. The premise really intrigued me because I adore a good mystery which is all the more tantalising when the character involved won’t tell what happened; the tension alone wants to drive you to the end. Alicia Berenson, despite having an idealistic life, comes home one evening to shoot her husband in the face five times and hasn’t uttered a word since. The novel follows two perspectives; mainly the voice of her psychotherapist Theo as he tries to uncover her mystery, and Alicia’s diary entries leading up to the bloody event.

At first I wasn’t particularly keen on the narrative presented by Theo. In all honesty, I found him to be a little stiff and overly explanative in the beginning. A lot of the first chapters were heavy description which involved too much focus on the study of psychology to the point where it felt a little redundant. He was explaining things that I could have easily realised myself and because of the emphasis of description over plot or dialogue, it felt very much like the author was making sure the reader understood rather than it being a part of the story naturally. With that being said, it did start to ease off during the middle of the book when I was hooked by the story, not necessarily the characters.

I did really like the chapters that were of Alicia’s diary entries because it really enhanced the tension whilst adding just enough small clues to make me question everyone. I particularly liked the dynamic presented between Max (Alicia’s brother in law) and Alicia and thought that was an interesting exploration into sibling rivalry; but I would have loved to have further input from Max’s wife Tanya as I felt she could have introduced another layer with more complicated emotions and therefore intrigue. Similarly, I really enjoyed the small insight into Alicia’s cousin Paul and how he felt trapped to look after his mother. Although again, I feel as though this could have been explored further without the predicable gambling subplot. In all honesty, I had a few issues with the secondary characters not being explored thoroughly because they felt secondary. Plus, not to mention the blatant stereotypes, such as; the gossiping and materialist neighbour named Barbie, the Greek psychologist, and of course the French gallery owner, that all added to the sense that they were an afterthought.

The true star of this book however, is the ending. I can see why it had so many people talking, because the twist actually lives up to the shock that the premise promises. I will say that I didn’t expect it to go the way that it did and I was thoroughly thrown off my game as I had pointed my finger of blame in the completely wrong direction. The anticipation of waiting for Alicia to speak, in combination with the theories that the reader collects on the way make this a very intriguing read that can only be described as a page turner! I would like to explore this ending further so the next paragraph will include spoilers so here is your warning folks! If you do not want the twist to be revealed please stop here; but if you’re as nosy as I am, or you have read the book yourself then please continue.


Firstly and obviously, I was shocked to find that Theo himself was the driving character in implementing the murder, however unintended. When I had that revelation moment my jaw truly did hang open. I loved the way that Michaelides interweaves the past and the present based on the readers assumptions to only completely subvert them later. What a master of misdirection because I truly did not connect Alicia’s stalker to Theo. I remember reading those last few passages thinking that Theo was heading down a dark path and questioning how this was going to end for him only to find out it had already happened. The other thing that completely shocked me about this twist was Gabriel himself. During Alicia’s entries I was so sure that he adored her that I didn’t even question his infidelity; which was exactly what Michaelides wanted. I won’t lie to you either, it hurt me. The bit that sticks in my mind is when Gabriel asks Alicia if they could have children together because I truly believed he cared; so this really contributed to me being blind-sighted during the actual reveal. Alicia is the character that I empathised and connected with the most. I really felt for her and despite being confused with the Greek tragedy analogies at the beginning I learnt to appreciate its brilliance at the end. The final piece that connected it all when Theo made Gabriel choose between Alicia and himself and how it reverts back to her childhood was a remarkable plot point that was the perfect jigsaw piece to finish the puzzle.

Overall, The plot of this book was good enough for me to get past my dislike of the narrative Theo was written in. The twist was excellently thought out and made me pause to reevaluate everything I had previously believed and read. The psychology moments, despite sometimes feeling excessive, was an interesting exploration into the motivations of the characters and contributed to all my theories throughout the reading experience. It was a quick read as the novel is fairly short, and so it makes for very easy reading especially with the desire to know what truly happened. The twist is definitely one of those that sticks with you long after finishing the story and I would highly recommend for others to give this one a try. It wasn’t a scary read by any means (like I thought it may be prior to reading) but it is indeed a psychological thriller.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Let’s Remove the Guilt from a Creative Slump

I was going to title this “Why I haven’t been active” but it felt too much like a “Why I Left Buzzfeed” video so we’re here instead!


Hello, wonderful readers, writers, and bloggers alike! Long time no see from me as I realised my last post was way back in August. I have mentioned previously that I am a big mood reader but it has become apparent to me that I am in fact a mood everything! So, I now must confess that my absence has been due to the biggest creative block I could ever of imagined. But now i’m on the other side of it, i’ve had time to reflect on it and its fair to say I have a fair few things to talk about. Please bear with me as I vent along in this blog post but I truly hope that you relate and find comfort in the points I make.

Being a part of the book community via a multitude of different social media platforms has been so rewarding in all the many connections and friendships I have made. However, I have also found that it has exposed me to a mass amount of content; and while sometimes this is stimulating and inspiring, it can also be pretty overwhelming. A lot of the time I find myself doubting my own content and even if its good enough to bring to the table with such other creators! This happened recently to the point where I didn’t want to open Instagram and participate. In all honesty, it created a chain reaction where I didn’t take book photos because of the doubt; which in turn led to guilt for having nothing to post. Do you see my Catch-22?

It took one photo. One photo that I liked that made me want to engage again and what ultimately broke my mini hiatus. I felt as though I finally had something to talk about. Retrospectively I can now see that I was striving too hard to be perfect when I just had to enjoy it. Yes, it’s good to be proud of the content you make and it makes all the difference in how you feel as a producer rather than just a consumer of media. But, and there is a but, it doesn’t make me any less of a member of the book community if I don’t post every day. I can still engage in all the content that I was previously enjoying. I think this is where I was going wrong in that I was comparing what I was making to everything I saw online, even if it were different styles. So, where does this newfound insight leave me now?

Well, firstly I am trying to make a promise to myself to remember that as long as I like what I make; then it is good enough. If you take photos for yourself you don’t have to hold yourself up to unrealistic standards. The same goes for any art form be it photography, writing, painting, dance, or even music. You started it because you loved it and that is what should keep you going and persevering with it. As for my writing, well I shall also be persevering with that too.

I’ve decided to try and put my “mood” on a leash and I hope to tame her with a sense of competition, because if there’s anything else to note about me other than books its that i’m extremely competitive (seriously, do not play Cluedo with me). I have decided to challenge myself to write at least one book review for this blog each month (starting slow) and hopefully that’ll motivate me to write about more bookish things too. Also, I’m thinking of going ALL in with this challenge and I am going to attempt to participate in NaNoWriMo!!! That’s right I am here to make up for last time and all my moping whilst I was in the Big Creative Slump. If you would me interested I could post little updates here and would obviously love to chat with you all if you’re thinking of participating as well.

So my big take away from all this? you can still be a creative member of any community regardless of how frequent you post. Post what you like and reignite your love for what you’re doing. If you need a push it’s ok to challenge yourself; don’t hold yourself to other people’s expectations. And finally, the Big Creative Slump doesn’t last forever. Trust me.

Just the beginning: Series I need to Finish

I’m starting to wonder if I have separation anxiety and thats why I have so many series unfinished.


Hello my lovely readers, writers, and bloggers alike! It’s been a while since I’ve done a casual chatty post and now I have some things to say. Lately I have been thinking about all the books on my TBR pile that is so high it’s beginning to resemble the Leaning Tower of Pisa. As it turns out a lot of these books are within a series; which quickly made me realise how many I haven’t actually finished.

We’ve all been there waiting for the next book in a series when the time of reading to release just gets way too long and either we forget what’s happened or have moved on to different books in-between. If i’m being completely honest; more often then not I already own the next book and every time I see it on my shelf I get shifty eyes and pretend I don’t see it staring at me in waiting. Well, no more! Today I am making the pledge to write a list of all the series I have yet to finish so I can officially challenge myself to read them. If you’re like me and are sneakily avoiding certain books then I encourage you to partake in this challenge too! Let me know in the comments if you do; i’d love to know what books you still have to get through.

Ok, here goes nothing. Here is my official list of series I intend to finish in 2020.

  1. Throne of Glass, Sarah J. Maas
  2. An Ember in the Ashes, Sabaa Tahir
  3. Red Queen, Victoria Aveyard
  4. The Raven Cycle, Maggie Stiefvater
  5. The Dark Divine, Bree Despain
  6. Shadow and Bone, Leigh Bardugo
  7. The Body Finder, Kimberly Derting

However, with this being said there are also a few series that I have decided I will not be finishing. This is not to say that I didn’t enjoy the books I have read but more that I don’t see myself as invested in taking them to the finish line. I have already mentioned in my DNF post that I am trying to learn that by not completing books, or in this cases series, actually allows me time to read more books that I have zero doubts about. Some of these books just weren’t what I wanted them to be, I grew out of them, or in some cases the ending was spoilt and I wasn’t keen in the direction they were being taken. So here goes my list of series I won’t be continuing.

  1. The Chemical Garden, Lauren, DeStefano
  2. House of Night, P.C and Kristin Cast
  3. Divergent, Veronica Roth
  4. The Maze Runner, James Dashner
  5. The Darkest Minds, Alexandra Bracken
  6. Caraval, Stephanie Garber

Let me know what you think about my lists, and of course your series you want to finish. And of course; happy reading!