After being on a bit of a reading rampage this weekend, I realised it made no sense to do two separate posts about the two books I finished in the past two days (so many twos!).  So after thinking of the ways I could roll the reviews into one, I actually started to question the way I present book reviews.

And alas, an idea struck me.  I always hesitate with book reviews anyway (so dubious to give too much away, whilst keeping the main elements of the plot evident), so have decided to start formatting them slightly differently.

I may decide a few weeks down the line that actually this sucks, but for now let’s give it a go.

The Book Thief By Markus Zusak

Rating: 5*


Perfect for: The reader that is enchanted by the written word and loves a good cry

If you liked: The Boy in the Striped pyjamas and anything by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, this is the one for you

I’ve been meaning to read this book for ages; in fact, when I was a lot younger I did give it a go… I just couldn’t get in to it.  But picking it up now took me to another world, full of innocence, history and magical passion.

The story follows Liesel, a girl from Nazi Germany, and her experiences throughout the war.  With unexpected twists and surprising additions to the cast, the historical context of the tale draws you in from the word go.

Narrated by death, you would expect this to be a dark novel; you may think that is where we draw the similarities with Zafon.  But no, it is deeply touching and intensely moving.  The similarities come from the role of words and books for the characters, and their power to transform lives.  A huge plus for the avid book lovers out there.

Full of the most endearing and heart-rendering characters I have ever found in literature, The Book Thief is quite easily one of the most delightful books I have ever had the pleasure to read.  From start to finish, the words spun like gold off of the page.

Final thought: Read the book before you see the film!  I am incredibly nervous about whether the film will capture the essence of the story.  Only time will tell!

Before I go to Sleep by SJ Watson

Rating: 3.5 *


Perfect for: The thrill seeker

If you liked: Gone Girl then you will absolutely adore this.

Christine is a 47 year old woman.  Every day, she wakes up and has no idea where or who she is.  No, it’s not a case of wine-head (guffaw guffaw); Christine suffers from anterograde amnesia.

An interesting subject even without the twist.  This psychological thriller delves into the idea of your history being re-written, and who we can really trust.

Reminiscent of Gone Girl (in the way that I nearly screamed when the twist unveiled itself), it’s a real page turner.  Incredibly clever and intricate in its plot, I finished this in a day. It was that gripping, there was no way I could put it down.

The structure of the book is integral to the pace and mystery surrounding the story.  It is what makes it such a spine-tingling read.  For me, it actually topped Gone Girl; a stunning debut novel for SJ Watson.

Final thought: This, I believe, is going to make a corker of a film.  If they do it right, it’s going to be something spectacular.



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