Book Review – Alice by Christina Henry

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Book – Alice by Christina Henry 
Rating -4/5 ♥♥♥♥

 

“They both went in but only Alice came out. Two weeks later came Alice, covered in blood, babbling about tea and a rabbit, wearing a dress that wasn’t hers.”

 

When I picked up this book in my local waterstones I was promised a dark and twisted trip down the rabbit hole and that is exactly what Christina Henry brought with this book.

This is the first fairytale retelling book that I have read ( I have bought several- they’re still on my TBR list) I wasn’t quite sure what to expect but this book has blown away my expectations and I enjoyed it way more than I was expecting too. If you’re picking up this book expecting it to be anything like the original then don’t waste your time, the only similarities I would say this book shares is the character names. You will see some beloved character re-imagined in this book but that’s as far as it goes. And that for me was a very good thing, different was exactly what I was looking for.

Christina does a fabulous job of world and character building without pages and pages of unnecessary detail. Straight away you’re introduced to Alice who is a lot older and scarred both mentally & physically. Alice is in a mental asylum having been put there by her family when she went missing for two weeks and returned ranting about her run in with the rabbit. The re-imagination of the rabbit in this book is dark, bloody and cruel.

If you have any triggers then I would avoid reading this book and would not recommend. It mentions sexual assault, mutilation and at times extreme violence. Oh and cannibalism for those with a weaker stomach.

This version of Alice is dark, gritty and pulled me in from the first page. I truly hated having to put it down. The only thing that stopped me from giving this book 5 stars as a rating is that I feel there were several big bad villains in this book that were really built up….(I wont mention their names, just in case it spoils anything for anyone) and then they were dealt with in a manner that just felt a little too easy for me. I was looking forward to more of a showdown between the characters and I feel like this was the only one thing missing for me.

Overall, a recommended read.

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Reading Slump Problems

I’m sure anyone who enjoys reading will have faced the dreaded reading slump at some point in their life, and it’s not fun. You have so many beautiful books you could be picking up and devouring right? but all you do is sit and look at it in your hands – thinking meh to yourself? Maybe it’s just me but that’s how mine usually go! I truly despise a reading slump, with my ever growing TBR pile just mounting ever higher I don’t have the time to let it pass on its own. So I decided to get proactive about it this time around, so I have two tips that worked for me, both of them probably well known.

dsc_00461)Reread a book or series you loved.


I don’t know why this isn’t something I’ve tried before, but my god this worked a treat for me. If you can’t tell from my blog name, I’m a fan of The Mortal Instruments series by the wonderfully amazing Cassandra Clare. This series is my all time favourite, those 6 books top my list and have held the number one spot for a while now. I was initially only planning on rereading the first book, City of Bones, but once I got into that I was just desperate to reread book 2 so I decided to roll with it while it had me in the mood to read again. I’m now currently on book 4 and plan on rereading all of that series – Which I figured was a good lead to then start some of the books by Cassandra that I’ve not yet read and also be able to remove those from my tbr.

2) Buddy Reading.


If you have a friend, online or someone nearby, who also enjoys reading then maybe try a buddy read? Preferably the same book so that you could both discuss it? I tried this technique but altered it slightly, I have my all time favourite series and my cousin has hers, so we made a deal with each other…I read Harry Potter( yes it’s shameful I haven’t read these before) and she reads The Mortal Instruments. I’ve also found this to be helpful, I’m so eager for her to read and enjoy my beloved TMI that I’ve started to read hers in return! So far so good.

If anyone has any other things they try to break out of a reading slump them please feel free to leave a comment or tweet with what has worked for you!

Outlander Book Review.

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Book – Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. 
Rating – 4/5 ♥♥♥♥

Let me start this review by saying that this is not normally the type of book that I would pick up – anyone who knows me and my book collection can verify that I tend to stay within my comfort zone when it comes to my reads, YA mostly with a little bit of fantasy and sci-fi thrown in for good measure. But my love for this story and its characters are a testament for how leaving that comfort zone can be a good thing! And after my experience with this book, it is something I intend to do more often. This book at its core can be be described as a Historical novel(with a little time travel and romance) set in the Scottish Highlands, detailing the lives of its characters in the 18th century. Diana paints a picture of her characters and their settings amazingly and I was transported back in time while reading this.

Firstly in the book you meet Claire, an incredibly strong minded and bold character. Claire finds herself up the creek without a paddle and adapts to her situation well – a lot better than most people would. She’s a very smart and caring woman who puts her knowledge to good use throughout the course of the story, mostly with her medical skills she picked up as a nurse, she also tries her best to add a modern viewpoint to many of the old fashioned traditions and laws of the highlanders.

Then you meet Jamie, or as I like to say , JAMIE FREAKING FRASER. This character has been added to my slowly growing list of top book boyfriends, he is in my opinion one of the best male heros. If you don’t swoon when you read him on your page then….. I just don’t understand you. Jamie is a very honourable man, his word is his bond kind of guy, who proves himself to be trustworthy. He’s physically strong but also mentally – trust me the things this guy overcomes in this story . There are points throughout the story that I found myself laughing at his lightheartedness and self deprecating jokes. I adored the relationship between him and Claire, it didn’t take long at all for him to become one of my favourite characters.

There are a lot of ups and downs in this novel, but both characters face them together. Diana creates a lovely friendship between both characters from the beginning of the story when they first meet and beyond, the moment you read any scenes between the two of them you feel like they’re both just meant to be. Claire and Jamie have a very honest relationship that would be the envy of most, there is just something about the two of them together that screams soulmates at you. I truly loved every word exchanged between the two, even when they were arguing! The secondary characters throughout the novel are also just as well written and lovable – excluding Black Jack Randall, but you will love to hate him! Murtagh and Dougal are two of my favourites.

There were a few scenes throughout the story that were a little hard for me to read, well maybe not hard but they definitely made for uncomfortable reading on my part – I won’t go into too much detail in fear of providing spoilers but there is a scene where Jamie beats Claire with a belt for disobedience, and endangering the rest of the men, when you read the story it does make sense and I can fully understand the reasoning behind it but nonetheless it made me cringe and recoil a little while it was happening. Then there is also the ending of the book. And what an ending it was, I recall looking at the section I had left to go and thinking surely nothing that bad can happen in such a small portion of the book…boy was I wrong. It went from lovely and happy, life is great in the highlands right now to a holy shit how is this happening eruption.

All in, I really loved this book and I’m looking forward to starting the next one – Dragonfly In Amber. Outlander is a recommended read, if you have read it or are going to pick it up then let me know your thoughts! (: