His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet

His Bloody ProjectShortlisted for the Manbooker Prize 2016, His Bloody Project takes place in 1800’s Scotland, primarily in the small village of Culduie where the accused murderer Roderick Macrae has spent his entire life.

I ended up buying the book simply because it was on the Manbooker Prize shortlist and after picking up The Luminaries entirely based on it’s 2013 win and loving it, I’ve wanted to explore more from that particular award. I’m so glad I did!

This book is fascinating, if only for it’s glimpse into historical rural Scottish life, which is well researched and frankly a little depressing. The book itself follows a mock autobiography that Roderick is writing from his prison cell after the murder of his neighbor and his family while his attorney attempts to piece together proof that Roderick is insane. There’s also portions of the attorney’s interviews with neighbors and specialists, which further deepen the book. Burnet did an amazing job of making Roderick a real person rather than someone who is purely good or purely evil, despite the acts he describes in his autobiography.

I really liked this book. The style is pleasing yet hauntingly realistic: it’s like a real memoir.



Review: Adulthood is a Myth by Sarah Anderson

5151gQtpqgL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_I love this book because it came at such a great time in my life. 2016 is newly here and I’m entering a time in my life where I am an adult, both in age and in responsibility but there’s always the doubts and the feeling that I’m just not adult emotionally or in personality.

In Sarah Anderon’s Adulthood is a Myth she illustrates various scenes of incredible social awkwardness, anxiety, misanthropy and depression that I can relate to, some of which I can even say “I’ve done the exact same thing.”

It really is empowering for me at this time in particular  to be able to read a book that I not only can relate to, reminds me that other people have the same problems and the same doubts that I have myself. This funny little book was the pick-me-up I needed to start off the year on a more positive note.

Also, I’m pretty sure once this is released I’m going to buy a copy for my best friend.


Review: The Returned by Jason Mott

azure_53760c7c64fcfbc23bbc09a44775e701This is a very slowly paced book. With that said, I liked it a lot.

The characters were just wonderful and three-dimensional, we get a lovely old couple who have lost their only child in a tragic accident, only to have their son returned to them in their golden years, as if he had never left. The revealing of just how this return affected the two of them differently is just perfect. I loved, loved Harold and how much this experience changed him.

Bellamy and his little side story was also a nice touch, with his mother, and the preacher with his first love. It was a good way of showing the different kind of experiences that people would have.

I also found the idea of keeping the dead in prisons very realistic and very likely what would have happened, and I was pleased to see it explored as much as it was.

The ending was a little heartbreaking, though.


this review was originally posted on my Booklikes.

Review: Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler

parableofthesowerBlurb: “When unattended environmental and economic crises lead to social chaos, not even gated communities are safe. In a night of fire and death Lauren Olamina, a minister’s young daughter, loses her family and home and ventures out into the unprotected American landscape. But what begins as a flight for survival soon leads to something much more: a startling vision of human destiny… and the birth of a new faith.

This is a good book. I was little wary going in because I tend to not enjoy anything that ha a strong religious theme, but fortunately this was not overly preachy or in my opinion, trying to make a religious statement. In Parable of the Sower, Lauren essentially creates a religion that she hopes to spread across her dying world and calls it Earthseed. However, most of the book is actually a fight for survival.

After the fire that destroys her gated community and kills the rest of her family (which I might mention, occurs almost a quarter of the way through the book, so you really do get a feeling for not only the kind of world that is behind the gate community but what Lauren lost the night of the fire) she and two survivors of her town make their way across the highways. Densely populated, yet a wasteland, they encounter and adopt various people into their group to defend themselves against a world that has gone insane.

The only real criticism I have of the book is the fact that I never connected or cared about any of the characters. When they died I didn’t feel all that shocked, even if they were unexpected, and I don’t feel as Lauren got into any particular situation which I even remotely thought she might not get out.