#SundaySnap – 16/03/14

Hello there, fellow fragrance fanatics and literature lovers… We’re back (sort of)!

So whilst we haven’t posted any new reviews in over three months(!), our university workload is slowly starting to ease off a little and we should be writing very soon! In the meantime though, here’s a sneaky little preview pic of the reviews we’ll be posting when we finally put pen to paper… Continue reading

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‘May We Be Forgiven’ by A. M. Homes

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A gritty yet touching exploration of damaged family life.

Sibling rivalry comes to a head in the most shocking of ways in A. M. Homes’ award-winning May We Be Forgiven. Following an unusual and outrageous family tragedy, 40-something Harry Silver’s world is radically changed. Normality is blown apart and absolution is sought in this unashamedly realistic portrayal of unconventional modern family life. Continue reading

‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’ by Mark Haddon

The Curious Incident

Curiosity killed the cat dog.

Christopher Boone is a fifteen year old with Asperger’s Syndrome. He’s a detective too, investigating a murder mystery after finding his neighbour’s dog, Wellington, with a fork stabbed through his abdomen. But that’s not the only curiosity in this novel, because as Christopher investigates the case he also uncovers some shocking secrets that result in him running away from home and taking an adventurous trip to London. The resulting story is funny and sad, but ultimately heart-warming. Continue reading

‘Brighton Belle’ by Sara Sheridan

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Don’t judge a book by its cover…

After seeing the eye-catching cover and reading the engaging blurb of ‘Brighton Belle’ I thought that I had found a great novel. For somebody who wouldn’t class themselves as a big fan of historical fiction, the book seemed to me to be an exciting and fast-paced take on the genre. Set in post-war Brighton in 1951, with a strong female lead and an element of detection and mystery, the book promised so much but delivered so little.

The protagonist of the story is Mirabelle Bevan, a headstrong former member of the Secret Service now working as a secretary at a debt collection agency. Her character is driven and likeable, albeit with a slightly reserved and defensive edge. I thought that it was great that the main character was a strong and empowered woman and found the characterisation to be consistent up until the final chapter, which was the final nail in the coffin for me when it came to this book. After a client requests an investigation into the debt of a Hungarian woman named Romana Laszlo, Mirabelle is dragged into an unimaginable case of prostitution, murder, and mystery. Continue reading

‘The Reader’ by Bernhard Schlink

TheReader

A haunting examination of compassion and condemnation

The Reader is a justifiably renowned and widely taught novel which, in a departure from the traditional Holocaust genre, is a delicate and philosophical rumination on the nature of right and wrong.
The story, set in Germany, spans four decades; beginning in the 1950s when the protagonist Michael Berg is a teenager and ending in the 1990s when he is middle aged. In this way, the novel is also a coming of age story as well as having a grand scope and perspective.
Continue reading

New Bridget Jones Novel to be Released in October

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Some very exciting books news has been released today! Vintage Books have revealed that the next Bridget Jones novel will be released on 10th October 2013. Titled ‘Bridget Jones: Mad About The Boy’, the novel by Helen Fielding is said to represent a new phase in an older Bridget’s life. Fielding says that “life has moved on” for unlucky-in-love Bridget; she’s still writing her diaries, but has also taken to social media – we’re sure the book will feature some hilarious tweets! Continue reading

‘The Great Gatsby’ by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby

Decadence, lust and decay in 1920s New York.

Considered ‘The Great American Novel’, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald transports you to a world where the people are wealthy, the parties are extravagant and the night is always young. Written in 1925 and set in the glorious Jazz age, this novel holds a weighty place in literature and is widely considered one of the best works of American fiction. Continue reading

Top 10 Books to Read During Revision

The time of year that brings a feeling of dread to all of those doing exams has arrived. It can often seem as though there’s no break from endless hours of revision, but whilst you may feel as though you should spend every waking minute revising, it really does make a difference to your ability to concentrate if you have short breaks during the day – it’s recommended that you take 5 or 10 minutes for every hour that you revise. Following a hard day of work, it’s good to get away from your desk, get comfortable and unwind. We like to take our breaks, and our end-of-day relaxation with a cup of tea and a good book. Reading helps you to temporarily escape from your current reality of revision-induced insanity, and enter into another filled with other lives and other worlds. Continue reading