Book Review: What Alice Forgot

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What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

Publisher: PanMacmillan Australia
Pages: 476

Synopsis:

Alice has a fall  during her Friday step class at the gym, bumps her head and loses the last ten years of her memory. She now has three children, and is separated from her husband, but she does not remember a thing about any of it. The story follows her piecing not only her memories back together, but the life of her younger self too. from

 

My review:

I really enjoyed this book. It was the first book that I have read by Liane Moriarty, and I was even more excited because she is Australian (like me!). I enjoyed getting snippets of Alice and her family’s lives, and then it all coming together and all making sense. Moriarty is able to write in a way that makes you feel what her characters are feeling, and it just makes it so wonderful to read.

I came to the end of the book, not realizing there was an epilogue, but I turned the page and their it was, and it just brought the whole story together nicely. I would recommend this to my friends to read, and it made me both laugh and cry.

 

What I liked:

I loved the characters in this book. There were all easy to relate to, and I found myself reflecting on my life and what I would do in Alice’s situation.

I liked how we got bits and pieces of Alice’s memories, as they came back to her, and I really loved the relationships between the characters too.

 

What I didn’t like:

Nothing. There really was nothing about this book that I didn’t enjoy. I never felt bored or wanted to skim through it. I gave the book 4 stars on Goodreads.

4.03 stars on Goodreads.

 

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Book Review: The Rosie Effect

 

The Rosie Project  by Graeme Simsion

Publisher: Text Publishing Company
Pages: 415

Main Characters: Don Tillman, Rosie Jarman

 

Synopsis:

Don Tillman is not wired the same way as most people, and is extremely organised. He is not a person who has many emotional connections, yet he is in love with Rosie, his wife and would do anything to make her happy. Unfortunately, he does not always go about things in the right way, and it often leads to disaster, which may ultimately drive him and Rosie apart.

My review:

A bit over a year ago, I read The Rosie Project, and I enjoyed most of the book. I decided then not to read The Rosie Effect right away, and I only just read it now. It was okay, but I did not enjoy it as much as the first book. It had a nice ending though, so I have given it three stars. (3.55 average on Goodreads)

Maybe it was just me, or maybe when I read the two books at different times, I was in a different mood, or perhaps looking for something else when I was reading, but I just didn’t seem to enjoy this book as much.

There were parts of it that I did like though, but I found that I just couldn’t connect with the story or the characters like I did in The Rosie Project. I think that this had a lot to do with the dialogue, and while I understand that Don is very straight to the point and direct, I didn’t remember Rosie being so much like that in book one. In this book, apart from when she was mad, it felt like she was almost robotic, and I ended up just skimming quite a bit.

I wanted so much to enjoy The Rosie Effect, but it just wasn’t what I was looking for.

 

Three Book Reviews 

 

Here are my thoughts on some recent reads of mine. I didn’t choose to read these because they all focus on a similar subject, it happened by chance. These books follow the lives of their main characters who are touched with mental health issues in some way. I find the topic very interesting, especially as this is something I deal with every day, but also having a psychology major, it is something that has always held my interest.

 

So here a my reviews on three books.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

A while back, I read ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’ by Stephen Chbosky, when I was looking for something that would be an easy read. I had seen the movie a few years back, which I thought was alright, but I wasn’t all that thrilled about. I usually prefer reading books, as I find that they are generally more detailed.

I was pleasantly surprised at how much more I enjoyed the book to the film, and I am very happy that I gave it a go and read it. I like the style of writing, as it is writing in the form of journal entries from the main character Charlie. We are able to see things from his perspective, as an awkward teen discovering himself in high school. As the book progresses, we see Charlie go through highs and lows, and how he handles them. The book touches on real life issues, such as mental illness, abortion, homosexuality, peer pressure, abuse and more.

I read this book about a while ago, and I find myself thinking about it still. I think that it is refreshing to read something that can easily be translated into real life.

The Silver Linings Playbook

Another book that I read with a similar theme was ‘The Silver Linings Playbook’ by Matthew Quick. I know that this has been made into a movie, but I haven’t seen it. I find that after having a baby, time for books, movies and TV is quite limited. This book, similar to The Perks of Being a Wallflower is written from the perspective of the main character, Pat. The book follows Pats struggles and delusions, and I found it to be a heartbreakingly honest depiction of someone suffering from mental illness.

There were parts of the book that I enjoyed more than others, particularly those where Pat describes his therapy sessions. I did get a little bored though when Pat was reliving the football games he attended with his brother, even though they were an important part to the overall story.

I enjoyed this book quite a lot, and to me it seems very much like the sames trials and tribulations that were found in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, but being experienced later in life by an adult, rather than a teenager in high school.

The Rosie Project

I read ‘The Rosie Project’ by Graeme Simsion around the same time as the other two books. This is another book that highlights the life of someone who is affected through mental disorders. The main character Don Tillman is a genetics professor. The book describes him to be high functioning with above average intelligence. His character displays the qualities of someone with Asperger’s syndrome. The book so far has followed Don’s experiences in the pursuit of finding a wife. Rather than conventional dating, he creates a questionnaire in which he uses to find the most suitable match for him.

I did like this book, but didn’t really feel like reading the sequel ‘The Rosie Effect’ straight after. I am still yet to read it but it is on my TBR list.

Have you read these books? What did you think of them? What are you reading now? Share your favourites with me in the comments.

Book Review: All the Bright Places

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Publisher: Penguin
Pages: 388

Main characters: Theodore Finch, Violet Markey

 

Synopsis:

Theodore and Violet meet in an odd situation, one where they are both contemplating ending their lives, on the edge of a bell-tower. Theodore is always assessing different ways to die, and Violet tries to deal with the grief that burdens her from her sister’s death.

The two end up having to do a school project together, and the more time they spend together, the more the way they see the lives and themselves change.

 

My review:

While I was reading this book, I had this feeling as though I had read it before (I hadn’t) and it took me a while to work out why. It really reminded me of The Fault in Our Stars, Paper Towns and The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Don’t get me wrong, I liked all of those books, but when I pick up a new book, and it feels so similar, I feel a little disappointed.

WHAT I LIKED

I liked the relationship between Theodore and Violet, and how they were from completely different social groups, yet they still were able to get to know one another they way they did.

It was also a quick read (I finished it in 2 days), which I felt was a good thing because I wasn’t really thrilled or really drawn into the story as much as I would have liked.

 

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE

As I mentioned, I didn’t like the deja vu feeling the entire time I was reading, as I would prefer to feel like I am actually reading a new story (unless I am reading a retelling, of course).

So, I didn’t mind the book, but I don’t think it is in my top 10. I think for this book, I would 2/5 stars. (4.20 stars on Goodreads)

 

Don’t forget to read my previous book review for Outlander if you haven’t already.

Book Review: Outlander

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Publisher: Dell
Pages: 850

Main characters: Claire Randall, Jamie Fraser

 

Outlander is the first book in the epic series by Diana Gabaldon. I cannot believe it has taken me so long to discover these books! I had heard of ‘Cross Stitch’ before, which is the name that was originally used for the UK / AU editions. (my mum even has these books back on our bookshelf in Australia, and I never even knew!). Anyway, I decided to read the books, after I recently discovered Outlander on Netflix and was instantly hooked. After the season two finally, I couldn’t handle draughtlander, so I had to get my Fraser fix from the books.

So it all begins with Claire Randall, year 1945. After WW2 comes to an end, her and her husband Frank take a second honeymoon in Inverness, Scotland. Frank is a historian, and is interested in learning more about his ancestor, Captain Black Jack Randall. Claire isn’t very interested in a lot of the history, but she has a keen interest in botany. Throughout the time in Inverness, they learn about the standing stones Craig Na Dun, and the mysteries that the stones hold. They go to the stones to see the druids together, and later Claire returns for some flowers she wanted to collect.

When Claire approaches the stones, she hears a buzzing noise, and when she touches the stones, her life has changed and will never be the same again.

She is now in a different era, and she must learn to survive in a very dangerous time for women. She is seen as an Outlander, or a ‘Sassenach’ in gaelic, and she must do her best to convince both the Scots and the English she is not a spy for the other. The story goes on and follows the life that she begins and how she adapts through necessity and survival, but also how she realises that she cannot turn back either.

WHAT I LOVED

I really loved this book because it hooked me from the beginning, and the relationship between Claire and Jamie is one of the best love stories I have ever read about. I think that the author has done a beautiful job showing how these two very different people from different times have grown together, and to what lengths they will go to for one another.

WHAT I DIDN’T LOVE

Not a lot, to be honest. I think perhaps a few parts were a little to detailed and could have been condensed, but on the other hand, I think that is what makes these books remarkable, in that they are so detailed, that they can transport you into this new world and feel as though you are a part of it.

So, if you haven’t already, I suggest checking out Outlander and see for yourself! I give it 5  stars! (4.19 star average on Goodreads)

 

Welcome to Books Past Bedtime

Hi everyone,

My name is Rachael and I am from Melbourne, Australia and I live in Bali in Indonesia with my husband and our little daughter.

I love reading and so I thought why not get a little more out of it and make a space to share what I am reading, my reviews on what I have read recently, and hopefully get to make new friends along the way who also love books.

A lot of my family and friends don’t read, or don’t have the time to read, so I often find myself itching to have someone to talk to about what amazing story I have just read.

I also admit to being quite a slow reader, mainly because I don’t like to skim through books (and also I have a two year old who keeps me very busy), but I am hoping that this will help me be more active in my reading.

So, I hope that you enjoy following along, and I can’t wait to get to know more fellow bookworms.

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