The Testaments by Margaret Atwood Review

I started reading this immediately after the Handmaid’s tale. I think I read the first 20 pages or so and then didn’t touch it for like almost a week and a half haha.

Again like the previous book, I found this one hard to get into. I guess I just sort of throw myself into books without taking time to digest the characters and making sense of what was going on.

But in this book there were three different point of views and naturally it took me a while to figure out which was which. Especially because two of them were named very similar, the difference being an A or a B at the end.

After a while though I picked up what was happening.

I really enjoyed this book. I think way more than the first. In this book we find out more about how the other women lived in Gilead, the Aunts and the little girls who were growing up to become wives.

This world fascinates me a lot which I think is why even though I took a long period away from reading this book I went back to it. I had to know what happened.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when jumping into this one. I was surprised that they didn’t mention Offred from the first novel directly. Though it is assumed that she was the mother of both the girls in the story.

Overall, I found it to be a good read. I can definitely understand why the series gets a lot of attention.

I don’t know if there will be more books to the series, though I see it being quite an easy series to add to over time. But that being said I would also be glad if it was just the two books.

I still have yet to watch the TV show but I think I will be adding it to my list of shows to watch now I’ve read both books. I know it will only be loosely based on the first book since the second one was only released last year but that’s fine. I’m just interested to know where they take it.

And with this book complete I am now halfway to my goal of reading 30 books this year! I think I’m making good progress and am a little bit ahead of where I should be so that’s nice.

I’m glad that even in our current circumstances and even with my excessive amounts of Animal Crossing play that I can still find time to read lol.

Not sure what my next book will be, I think maybe one I picked up from Waterstones at the start of the year.

As usual you can expect some kind of reading update in the future. Whether it is here or on GoodReads.

~ Courtney x

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood Review

I wasn’t sure about this one but I decided to give it a go after someone gave me a brief description of the TV show. I feel very behind with this but it’s better late than never right? Plus I haven’t seen the TV show yet so I might as well take a chance with the book if I don’t really know what to expect.

I have to be honest, I almost gave up on this one. I was finding it hard to get into the story as the timelines kept changing from the past and the present, it was initially hard to keep up with the change. The writing style was also not an easy one to get into, I have been reading a mix recently so I’m not surprised when a writing style isn’t what I am expecting, but normally I can get into it fine, this one just took longer than most.

I would say I got into it after the first 100 pages or so, I know they say you should read a book until at least 50 pages in to see if you like it or not. But to me, if you make it that far you might as well see it to the end. I can’t just leave something unfinished, even if I didn’t like it.

But with this one, I found it easier to read big chunks at a time and then leave it for a few days. I think it’s the kind of thing you have to be in the mood to read. But we made it through in the end.

Overall I did enjoy the story, it’s an interesting take on what society would do to handle a situation. It’s actually made me interested in the TV show just to see what happens with that.

I do wish we knew more about the transition process and also about what happened to Offred after she was captured. When I got to the end and it was explained the story was told through Offred in a bunch of tapes and they weren’t in order, it suddenly made sense that the story was so haphazard in it’s switch between past and present. It is still sad that we don’t know for sure what happened to her.

I know there is a sequel now but I’m not sure if it will even tell us what happened. Though I probably will read it because I am interested to see what will come from that and what we will learn about this world.

And as I said before I will probably watch the TV show too, it’ll be different from the book for sure, considering the TV show has 3 seasons now and you can’t stretch a book that far out. But I want to know what direction they take the story.

While I am surprised it took me so long to get through this book after reading my last two books quite quickly I am not going to let it deter me from my reading journey. I am basically halfway through my goal to read 30 books this year and I would like to try and keep my pace up.

I know it’s not a race, but I don’t want to get lazy with it and not pick up another book for months again because I do quite enjoy my reading time.

So hopefully I’ll be back with another book review soon, if not then I’ve been distracted by Animal Crossing as usual lol.

~ Courtney x

When I Was You by Minka Kent Review

Took a chance on an Amazon Prime First Reads selection. They never have a huge selection but I still check in every month to see if there is anything interesting.

This book caught my eye because I love a good thriller with lots of drama. And this had the potential to go somewhere. And go somewhere it did.

As soon I started to read this book I couldn’t put it down, I wanted to know more and what was going to happen.

I have to say though as it got towards the end it became somewhat predictable…I mean I guess from the beginning I was trying to figure out what was going on. I sensed that Niall was shady and I thought maybe he was the one who attacked Brienne in the beginning, I also suspected that the woman pretending to be her knew about the attack and wanted to take on her life. It didn’t make sense otherwise.

Though it didn’t seem to be too much of a mystery once the second part of the novel began and everything was about Niall. From then things started to get a bit more interesting and fast-paced, though his whole plan and backstory was revealed within the first five minutes lol.

I was surprised to find out that Niall hadn’t told Sam, the woman pretending to be Brienne, the plan. It just doesn’t sit right to me that she lived as Brienne for months and no one recognised her or that she wasn’t caught out in some other way.

I also think it was wild that they revealed all this information about Niall in the first chapter in his point of view but just threw in somewhere in the middle that he killed Sam’s dad like wow, I wasn’t expecting that for him. Sure he has done a lot of terrible things so far but just casually mentioning murder is crazy. But I guess it was to show just how far he was going to go.

Still, like I said things came predictable towards the end with the girls meeting each other and Niall was always either going to get away or get caught. It’s funny how after everything I still get annoyed when things wrap up too perfectly, like sure it’s a novel and fictional but sometimes you just wish for that one extra plot twist.

But definitely a good read, I enjoyed it and like I said I couldn’t put it down, finished it in two days. So I guess Amazon Prime’s First Reads isn’t too bad, I don’t always find something I like there but I might as well take advantage if it means a free book.

Next up on the reading list is probably the Handmaid’s Tale, I know I’m late to the party but what else is new? I picked up the book at the start of the year so I think it’s time to start reading it. I should be back with another review soon to let you know my thoughts.

~ Courtney x

Holes By Louis Sachar Review

I decided to read a little blast from the past! So the first memory I have of reading Holes is actually when I was in primary school. Except I didn’t read it, my teacher actually read it to the class.

I don’t remember much about it other than sitting on the grass outside on a nice day while the teacher read to us. Then after she had finished reading the book we watched the movie.

Ever since then I have enjoyed this story. I’m not sure why this story has stuck with me but it just has. And I still enjoy watching the movie from time to time.

I decided to reread after all this time because my boyfriend ended up buying the book last year and I thought why not – he hasn’t even read it yet but oh well.

I think I’ve said this before but reading a book that has a movie adaptation can be tricky. And by that I mean there isn’t always a huge amount of difference between the book and the movie, and that was the case here.

I’m not saying that as a bad thing but at the same time I think it would have been nice to have some kind of variation, just because it would add something extra to reading the book. But the story is basically the exact same, except for Stanley being overweight lol.

But because the movie and the book are the same and I remember the movie so clearly, it made this a bit of a boring read.

The story is still great though, and if you haven’t seen the movie or read the book I do invite you to do one or the other. But you do not have to do both.

I know in school they always told you not to watch the movie and to read the book instead but sometimes that just isn’t true lol. I enjoyed the movie and reading the book was nice, but there is not much difference so I think you would be just fine with the movie.

Anyway, it was still nice to read something from my childhood, it was kind of wild to me that the book is only like 240 pages because when I was younger I swear it was a lot more than that. But then I guess it’s different when someone is reading to you, and when you’re eight years old 240 pages is a lot.

But there we go, another book read. I haven’t been reading as much because of lock down and the fact Animal Crossing came out. I used to read a lot before because I read when I was travelling to and from work but since that is not part of my routine right now, I have to work harder to fit in some reading.

I’m still hoping to reach my reading goal of 30 books this year. Which I think I will but probably not as fast I as I would have liked.

Anyway, I’m not sure what my next book to read will be, I actually think Holes has a sequel book which I might try to get if my library has the ebook version. Otherwise I think I would be okay leaving this as a stand-alone book.

Either way I will do my best to keep reading and will maybe be back with another review soon! (Or at least a blog post not Animal Crossing related…)

~ Courtney x

Weightless by Sarah Bannan Review

I bought this book like 5 years ago I’m pretty sure. It has sat on my bookshelf for that long. It sounded like my kind of thing, you know high school drama, I just hadn’t gotten around to reading it and so finally I did.

It definitely was not what I was expecting. This book is all about the life of Carolyn Lessing, a girl who moved to a small town in Alabama but the point of view is not Carolyn’s.

The style is something that I’ve never read before. It was first person plural, and so the point of view of high school girls. Girls who weren’t super popular but wanted to be, people who saw Carolyn live her life and were secretly jealous. Spectators to what was going on around them but never interfered.

I have to say I kind of clocked what happened pretty quick. High school new girl, bullied and eventually commits suicide…

Definitely a new take on it though, with you feeling like you were one of those girls who just watched Carolyn get bullied, stood at the side lines and did nothing. It kind of brings me back to when I was at school, these things happen. We all just watch, we are all trying to be involved in everyone’s lives but when it really comes down to it, that’s all we do. When we see things happening we don’t intervene because we feel like it’s not our place, and then something happens and maybe we think it was our place to speak up.

The book probably would have made a bigger impact on me if I had actually read it 5 years ago, but I feel like after 13 Reasons Why on Netflix and everything this message has pretty much been drilled into me and stayed with me. Our actions have consequences, even if it’s no action at all.

I gotta say the book started to feel a little Lifetime movie to me towards the end, the whole aftermath of Carolyn’s passing, the media coverage, them arresting and trying to press charges against the bullies. Things I’ve definitely seen in a Lifetime movie about bullying before.

Still an interesting read, took a while to get used to the first person plural though. I also thought that maybe it dragged just a little, I think I would have preferred a little bit more time spent on the aftermath.

But now the book is done and I hope to never leave another book on my bookshelf unread for 5 years again lol.

~ Courtney x