Books · Reviews

Book Thoughts: Mix Tape (Jane Sanderson)

Sanderson, Jane - Mix Tape

★★★★★★★

Title: Mix Tape
Author: Jane Sanderson
Genre: Fiction/Romance Pages: 408
First published: 2020
Edition: Kindle e-book

Daniel was the first boy to make Alison a mix tape. But that was years ago and Ali hasn’t thought about him in a very long time. Even if she had, she might not have called him ‘the one that got away’; after all, she’d been the one to run. Then Dan’s name pops up on her phone, with a link to a song from their shared past. For two blissful minutes, Alison is no longer an adult in Adelaide with temperamental daughters; she is sixteen in Sheffield, dancing in her skin-tight jeans. She cannot help but respond in kind. And so begins a new mix tape.

Let me start by stating that this is one of my favourite books I have read this year. I adored it.

Although it is billed as a romance book and the cover suggests a light read, I feel that this is slightly misleading. This books deals with a lot of trauma, such as alcoholism, rape and suicide. If you go in expecting a fun light read, this is not that, and in my opinion all the better for it.

The novel follows two people during two time lines – one in 1979 and the other in 2012/13. In the later timeline both are in their late forties, have other partners and adult children and yet they find their way back to each other, reconnecting through music that they send to each other via Twitter. I loved having older protagonists that still felt young at heart. I guess I recognised much of myself in them!

It does deal with adultery, which is not a subject I am particularly fond of, but somehow it works here and it did not bother me too much.

I loved the main characters, as well as the quirky cast of side characters. There were some really endearing dynamics.

I loved the big role the music aspect played in this narrative. Music is very evocative for me personally, so for me this novel made a lot of sense and I felt wave after wave of nostalgia whilst reading it.

I adored this so much. This was perfect for me.

7 out of 7 stars

Books · Reviews

Book Thoughts: A Man Called Ove (Fredrik Backman)

Backman, Fredrik - A Man Called Ove

★★★★★★★

Title:  A Man Called Ove
Author: Fredrik Backman (Translated from Swedish by Henning Koch)
Genre: Fiction / contemporary   Pages: 353
First published: 2012 (original title: En Man som heter Ove)
Edition: Kindle e-book

Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon—the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him “the bitter neighbor from hell.” But must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?

I do not come across books like this that often. It was such a beautiful read it hurts my soul in the best possible way now it’s done.

I had heard so many good things about this book and the author and it had been sitting on TBR and Kindle for a while, but when I finally picked it up I knew from the first page that I would absolutely love it.

A character study, a portrait of grief and compassion and an all-round heart warming read, I have come away from this book with a smile on my face.  The author has a deft touch portraying human nature and emotions.

The character of Ove is just wonderful and the side characters are just a wonderful varied bunch. I love the author’s writing style and the way he manages to write about heavy topics, such as grief and suicide, in a lighthearted way. And yes, I did cry, but I did not find it the tearfest I kind of feared it was. It was simply perfect.

I will buy myself a physical copy and treasure it forever, because this is now one of my all-time favourite books. I will defnitely be checking out other books by this author.

7 out of 7 stars

Books

Perfect Books? Seven 7* Predictions

So, in my bookish world seven stars is the highest rating I give to books. Both six or seven stars equate to five stars on Goodreads, but only an almost perfect book gets a seven-star rating from me. Since starting my blog, I have rated exactly TWO books seven stars. Conincidentally both of these were non-fiction.

Of past novels I have read the only books I could think of that may just rate that high are Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen) and The Picture of Dorian Gray (Oscar Wilde), which are my favourite books. I also love William Horwood’s writing, which I am hoping to re-read some of soon…

I was watching Booksandlala’s 5 star Prediction video and I thought it would be a marvellous idea to look on my shelves for books that could possibly reach the elusive 7 stars.

So, these are my chosen ones:

1. Feathers (Thor Hanson)

Non-fiction, written by an author whose latest book Buzz was a strong 6 stars. This book is, well, about the miracle of feathers and I have a feeling I will love it.

2. The Hate U Give (Angie Thomas)

This is one of those books that could end up feeling so important and heartfelt that it may end up being just THAT awesome.

3. Murder on the Orient Express (Agatha Christie)

The queen of mystery and this is one of her most beloved books. Worthy of this list, I think. I hope to read it before the year is out

4. The Way of Kings (Brandon Sanderson)

I have yet to read a Sanderson book, but I have read the last books in The Wheel of Time series, which he wrote with the help of Robert Jordan’s notes. Since I loved those, there is a possibility I will absolutely love his writing.

5. Godsgrave (Jay Kristoff)

I really loved Nevernight, which I rated 6 stars. There is a possibility that the follow-up will be even better. If it is…. A seven-star could be on the horizon.

6. Rebecca (Daphne Du Maurier)

I have never read any of Du Maurier’s books, but so many people say this is their favourite book that I am both excited and apprehensive to read it. It always seems like an autumn read to me, so I might read this one sooner than later.

7. I, Claudius (Robert Graves)

Another classic that I have been wanting to read for ages! Classic historical fiction in this case. I am hopeful it will be at least six stars, possibly seven?

***

What do you think? Which of these books is most likely to be a top-scorer?

 

 

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