Reading Books: Expectation Vs Reality

What makes you pick up a book? Is it the cover? A recommendation? Or do you pick up a random one and give it a shot?

Books have become so much more than just the writing itself. Once you’ve started it, that’s all that matters, but before that there are so many other considerations that take place, whether we’re aware of it or not.

People always say, in marketing and advertising, that you often have to see something 7 times before you think about buying into it. Have you perhaps unconsciously bought a book because you’ve seen it so many times it just makes sense to give it a go? Or maybe you are more easily convinced, by simply a cover or a friend’s recommendation.

I’d like to share my thoughts on the book buying process and what leads me to eventually pick up a book – perhaps some of you can relate!

How Beautiful Is The Book?

If I said I’d never bought a book just because I loved the cover, I’d be lying…

There are some really well designed book covers out there, and the publishers know exactly what they’re doing – drawing in those who appreciate the visual and aesthetic side of reading. Because having something that reads well and looks good on your bookshelf is the best of both worlds, right? The problem is, they sometimes aren’t a very good read at all…

I’ve fallen into this trap many times before, and I still fall into it time and time again. The irony is that I never end up keeping the book even if it does have a beautiful cover, because what’s the point if I’m not going to read it again?

4 Star Rating? Let’s do it!

If you’re also an avid reader, you’ve likely got Goodreads, and you’ve also likely spend hours scrolling through, exploring books, sorting through ratings and reviews. I definitely have.

However, sometimes I place a little too much trust in Goodreads ratings. I see a rare 4 star rating and I think, this has to be a good book. And it is a good book, for majority of people. But sometimes it’s easy to forget that you won’t necessarily fall into that majority too!

There aren’t many 4 star books I’ve read and felt hugely disappointed, but I have read a couple and thought: I’m not sure I really understand what everyone else is seeing here. But that’s the beauty of art – we all see something different in it. If anything, we look for parts of ourselves within it. And it’s natural to not feel connected to every book, in the same way that we wouldn’t feel connected to every person we meet either.

“You HAVE To Read This”

We’ve all had the classic recommendation from a friend or family member, or maybe even from a stranger, where they claim they have the perfect book for you. Do you believe them? Can you trust their book taste? Is it worth the shot or will it just lead to an awkward conversation of “It was good, buuuut…”

I never know whether to follow up on recommendations, so often I head back to good old Goodreads and see what everyone else is saying about it too. The more opinions, the better, right?

However, I think every now and again it’s good to step outside of your comfort zone and try a completely different book to your usual read. I can’t say I’ve had much success with this yet (*cough cough* horror that wasn’t scary *cough cough* confusing sci-fi that made no sense). But, I’m still willing to give it a shot.

Do you relate to any of the above?

Why do you think the reality of a book is often so different to the initial expectation?

I’d love to know what you think below.

How To Live More In The Present Moment [The Power Of Now by Eckhart Tolle]

Over the last couple years, as I’ve taken an interest in self-development, I’ve been drilling into the areas of my life where I can improve and grow. One of these is my instinct to live inside my head. As many writers likely do, I have an imaginative and overactive brain, so it’s constantly whirring with thoughts. Sometimes it’s hard for me to focus on what is happening in the here and now because of it. I’m physically walking or cooking or brushing my teeth but my thoughts are way off in another place, thinking about other things.

I think it’s a natural human instinct to be like this – we all do it. We all enter autopilot when we are doing something we can almost do off by heart. But that doesn’t make it healthy or good for us. Being mindful of the things we are doing helps us be mindful of our place in the world and how we act within it.

Since I know this is an area I need to improve, I’ve recently started reading The Power Of Now, which is a self-development book all about learning to live in the present moment. It has some really fascinating and enlightening insights into how paying attention to the wandering mind and the emotions inside of us help us reach a sense of peace and acceptance. When we are in conflict with what is going on in our minds and our bodies, this is when issues and illnesses begin to creep up on us.

But, most of all, this book talks about the leaving behind of the past and the future.

Eckhart Tolle says:

“All negativity is caused by an accumulation of psychological time and denial of the present.”

Psychological time is essentially “made up time”. It’s when our minds start thinking back to past scenarios and future possibilities. It’s when we lose sight of what’s happening right in front of us, because we’re too busy dwelling on what has been or what could be. Of course, psychological time is necessary for many situations, from planning ahead for holidays or creating personal and work goals. The past is often helpful for us to learn from our mistakes. However, when we start living in this psychological time for no logical reason – perhaps we are overthinking or daydreaming – then we are denying the Now (the present moment). And if we are denying the Now, then it is as if we are telling our body that we don’t want to exist in this moment.

When I read this part of the book, it was such a fascinating insight for me, and it made a whole lot of sense. If we are living in the present moment, of course we will have no worries or stresses, because only this moment, right here and now, matters. Anything else going on in our brain doesn’t exist. We’ve conjured it up for no reason. And it’s harming us in the process.

When I think back to moments in my life that I’ve felt the most happy, they all involved me being fully present in the moment. I wasn’t scrolling through my phone, I wasn’t thinking about the future or what has been, I was really enjoying the here and now. And I noticed that these moments always occur when I’m around other people. Why? Probably because I’m not alone letting all my thoughts take over my brain. To replicate these moments in solitude doesn’t come as naturally, as I’m sure it doesn’t to most people, since our minds are always loudest when we are quiet, but it is something I am slowly progressing on.

The feeling I get when on holiday, of detaching myself from any everyday worries, is always such a calm feeling. That’s when the power of now has the most power within me. But what if we, as humans, could detach from this without changing our exterior surroundings?

I think there are everyday habits all of us can implement to help us get out of our own minds and focus on the present in order to overcome any unnecessary stress. For me, I’ve found that yoga has been the most beneficial. I’m focusing on my breathing and the poses so much that I’m tuned out from the world. The same occurs when I’m learning something new, like a new recipe or a new song on the piano. If we can enter a state of “Flow” in our lives, in whatever form that may be, we will find some sense of release, because we are in a continual stream of focus on a task, everything left behind as we conjure up something new and exciting and real and revelationary.

What do you do to help you live in the present moment?

Have you read The Power of Now too?

Let me know in the comments below!

I Wrote Something Everyday For 5 Years… [One Line A Day Book – Review]

Just over 5 years ago, I was given one of the best presents I’ve ever received – a “One Line A Day” book – and it’s been my little companion through the most influential stages of my life. From finishing A levels, to starting university, to graduating and starting a new job, it has helped me track not only the vital stages of my life but the ages where I grew the most as a person and overcame the biggest challenges. And because of this, I want to share a mini review on how it works and what I’ve learnt from it.

How Does The “One Line A Day” Book Work?

As simple as it is, you really do just write one line everyday (or in my case, as many lines as can fit!). You can share whatever you like – a quote, something meaningful, what you did that day. For me personally, I wrote a brief description of everything I did that day as if it was a diary in shortened form.

The unique element of this journal is that each page has 5 text blocks for 5 years, so when you return to that page the following year, you can see what you wrote on that exact day the year before, and the year before that etc.

What I Love About The “One Line A Day” Book

It’s simple, easy to use, and most of all, it’s just really fascinating. We go about our lives everyday and often we forget about the simple things that happened, but sometimes they’re the most impactful of all.

Sometimes, I’d go to write in the journal for today, and I’d notice that a small event had recurred from the previous year, such as seeing the same friend on the exact same day the year before, or eating the same meal. Sure, it was a coincidence and didn’t particularly symbolise anything, but it’s funny how small things like this can line up.

It’s also such a great way of remembering past memories. Before writing the journal for that specific day, I’d really enjoy reading back on the previous years just to see what I was up to. And often it was very different – as I changed as a person, my habits naturally changed too. It was so interesting to see my progression as a person and how that reflected in the actions I took in my life.

How Did I Manage To Stick With It For 5 Years?

This is a question I often asked myself too, but I think when something becomes so meaningful to you, it naturally becomes a habit. I’d sit down for 5 minutes every evening to fill it in before bed, and it’s not any different than using that 5 minutes to scroll through your phone. Plus, I liked the challenge – once I start something, I try my ultimate best to follow through with it, and this felt like such a big but rewarding challenge. And I’m so glad I stuck with it – having 5 years packed into one tiny book feels so so special.

What Did I Learn From It?

The biggest, and perhaps really obvious, conclusion I drew from using the “One Line A Day Book” was that people change a LOT in 5 years. Even in 1 year. Even in a month, a week, a day. Reading back on past entries I’d written, I not only noticed the different events and situations I placed myself in, but the change in mindset too. A lot of my earlier entries were shorter and kind of negative too, but I felt like I had so many defining moments in the following couple years where I really morphed my mindset and my health into a much better place. Having this within the diary feels so important to me because that was a really important moment in my life, where I felt like I really became myself, accepted myself and learnt about the power of self-developing and seeing the world in a positive light.

I also learnt that, if I put my mind to it, I can do something that seems initially impossible. Writing something everyday for 5 years? Well, that would seem daunting to pretty much everybody, and at the start I wasn’t sure I could do it. But like anything, if you want to achieve something, you make time for it, you prioritise it, and you make it happen.

I think, more than anything, it’s also a huge reminder that everything is temporary. What I was doing, how I felt, the way I looked at the world and the people in it the year before, is so different to now. And it will be the same the next year, and the year after that, and the year after that too. As humans, we naturally progress. There is no stagnant waters. There is hope that you can become whatever you want to be in the future. It just hasn’t been written yet.

Have you tried the “One Line A Day” book or anything similar?

Or perhaps want to give it a try?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

‘The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Fuck’ by Mark Manson [Mini Book Review + Quotes]

I don’t know where to start in explaining how much I loved this book and how much I resonated with the theories… but Mark Manson himself describes this book as “a guide to suffering and how to do it better, more meaningfully, with more compassion and more humility” and I think it’s spot on. I found this book quotable, meaningful, thought-provoking and it tells it exactly how it is – no sugar coating.

From discussing how to embrace pain, to taking responsibility for your life, to accepting our death in order to truly live our lives, there is so much valuable insight amongst these pages, and it really got me questioning my own thought process and the way I live my life – because we all have progress to make, much of which is hidden in our subconscious.

I’d like to share a few of my favourite quotes from the book that really got me thinking and that might provide some interesting thinking time or discussions for you too:

“The more you pursue feeling better all the time, the less satisfied you become, as pursuing something only reinforces the fact that you lack it in the first place.”

“We shouldn’t always trust our emotions… we should make a habit of questioning them.”

“As a rule, people who are terrified of what others think about them are actually terrified of all the shitty things they think about themselves being reflected back at them.”

“We don’t always control what happens to us. But we always control how we interpret what happens to us, as well as how we respond.”

“The only way to solve our problems is to first admit that our actions and beliefs up to this point have been wrong and are not working. This openness to being wrong must exist for any real change or growth to take place.”

“If it feels like it’s you versus the world, chances are it’s really just you versus yourself.”

“We can be truly successful only at something we’re willing to fail at. If we’re unwilling to fail, then we’re unwilling to succeed.”

“Our proudest achievements come in the face of the greatest adversity.”

“Life is about not knowing and then doing something anyway. All of life is like this.”

“Don’t just sit there. Do something. The answers will follow.”

I will definitely be re-reading this book whenever I feel stuck in life, whenever I feel I need a helping hand making a change, whenever I feel like I’m falling or losing my sense of direction. And I’d recommend it for anyone in this situation too.

Self development is more than just being positive; it’s taking responsibility and learning to handle adversity with acceptance and strength. And I believe we all have the potential to do that – this book is definitely a start in reminding us that we can, every single one of us, and it acts as a brutally honest but supportive helping hand.

Have you read this book? Or did a particular quote from above speak to you?

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid [Book Review]

Did I get roped into buying this from all the beautiful photos and wonderful reviews over on bookstagram?

Yes, yes I did.

But I don’t regret it.


Daisy Jones & The Six is one of the most unique books I’ve read in a very long time. Set in the 1970’s, amidst the height of rock ‘n’ roll, it follows the journey of six bandmates (The Six) and the singer Daisy Jones. It’s written purely in dialogue – the truth lies only in the words which have been spoken – as the reader is thrown into a world of music, heartbreak, desire and ambition. Tell me it’s not real, I dare you. These characters light up the stage of the page in a way that really does make you believe in their souls.

My Thoughts

One of the most disappointing feelings as a reader is going into a book with such high expectations and then having them fall flat. I half expected this to happen with Daisy Jones & The Six but it really did take me by surprise.

I’ve never read a book written purely in dialogue and I think naturally I had some questions going into it. Would I feel too detached from the inner worlds of the characters? How is the plot going to formulate? Would I simply get bored? However, as soon as I started reading, none of these questions even mattered – I didn’t need to think about them at all.

Daisy Jones & The Six is a success, I think, because it doesn’t try to be something its not. It allows itself to be character-driven without trying too hard to make a plot out of it. And it’s believable – so believable. From the very first page I felt like I was watching a documentary play out before my eyes. Dialogue was interspersed cleverly to keep everything relevant, and yet each character had its own style, its own life and its own sub-plot.

I don’t often give books 5 stars – only if I feel I connected to the book in some way. And when I’m reading a book about rock ‘n’ roll in the 1970’s, before I was even born, it’s easy to think, well, how can I relate to any of this? But there were so many stripped back, beautiful moments in this book, which felt like those vulnerable moments in a documentary when a singular person is talking to the camera and they just bare their soul. And in those moments, as a reader, you see these characters as flawed human beings – behind the parties, the drugs and the commotion, they are facing a universal struggle.

As someone who loves both music and writing, I was particularly interested in the way these two elements were brought together for the songwriting scenes of the book. The power of music, of writing, of putting a chunk of your own heart and soul into these art forms is what this book is all about – and how sometimes the most important of words are never spoken, or never needed to be. Whilst I couldn’t relate to the characters on a surface-level, their deeper thoughts, the way they placed themselves within their art, resonated with me. I so wanted the band to be real. Honestly. I still do. I wish the songs were real.

Daisy Jones & The Six may look like an exciting, thrill of a ride – and it is, most definitely. But it also places a much deeper emphasis on relationships, art, choices and trust. It has that extra layer that any reader surely looks for in a book. And that’s what makes it so great.

If these wonderful quotes (my favourite quotes from the book) are anything to go by…

“These people from a different country, people I’d never met in my life, I felt connected to them in a way that I hadn’t felt connected to anyone before. It is what I have always loved about music. Not the sounds or the crowds or the good times as much as the words – the emotions, and the stories, the truth – that you can let flow right out of your mouth. Music can dig, you know? It can take a shovel to your chest and just start digging until it hits something.”

Daisy Jones

“She had written something that felt like I could have written it, except I knew I couldn’t have. I wouldn’t have come up with something like that. Which is what we all want from art, isn’t it? When someone pins down something that feels like it lives inside us? Takes a piece of your heart out and shows it to you? It’s like they are introducing you to a part of yourself.”


Have you read Daisy Jones & The Six?

I’d love to know what you thought in the comments below!

‘Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway’ by Susan Jeffers [Book Review]

Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway is a truly powerful book and its lessons are enough to change any person’s life if they’re willing to take that uncomfortable and fearful step forwards. 

For this reason, I don’t think it’s surprising that there are a couple bad reviews floating around Goodreads – only because this book doesn’t mess around; it tells it how it is, and it tells you to take responsibility for your life. Many of us don’t like hearing it! 

Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway touches upon many important life topics, but overall it promotes a positive mindset, how to face decisions in your life, and how to ultimately trust in your ability to handle whatever life throws at you. But what makes this book even greater is that it’s actionable. It doesn’t just tell you the end goal, it tells you how to get there. All you have to do is be willing to sign up for the journey.

This is the kind of book I will always keep on my shelf and reread in times when I feel stuck and need a positivity boost. I think if you go into this with an open mind, it can become significantly important to anyone. With many different sections, and the ability to underline important phrases (it’s very quotable!), it is easy to dip in and out of. I already find myself wanting to go back and give a few of the exercises a go.

I think even the prospect of this book might instil a little fear in some people – just because as a reader we know that reading it may encourage us to go out and do all those things we’ve been too scared to do – but, as I’ve said to myself over the past year or so, feeling fear is even more reason to go out and do it!

I think it’s impossible to always feel the fear and do it anyway, because fear is a powerful thing, but we can all make that one extra step each and everyday. And I hope by keeping this book by my side that I can keep reminding myself of this.

So, as Jeffers mentions in the book, say YES to the opportunity! Read the book and promote personal growth. Good things happen when we say YES, and who doesn’t need a bit more good in their life? 

When was the last time you felt the fear but did it anyway?

I’ve love to hear your inspiring stories in the comments!

Anne Frank: The Diary Of A Young Girl [Book Review]

“All I can do is wait, as calmly as possible, for it to end… The whole world is waiting, and many are waiting for death.”

If any time is a good time to read Anne Frank’s diary, it’s now. The parallels between wartime and the pandemic are overwhelmingly similar. Whilst we cannot imagine the terrors of shooting, bombs, and the rise of a leader, we can relate more than ever to the sense of being trapped indoors, to not knowing what will happen next, to feeling like each day we are living is the same. For this reason, I couldn’t help but pick up this diary and see how I felt about it.

Reading Anne Frank’s diary is, in short, a surreal experience. As many of us do, I already knew a lot about her story, but reading her diary itself felt much more personal. It amazes me that these words on a page were written purely for herself, and yet now they’ve been read by millions of people around the world. I hope she knows the impact she’s made, from wherever she is, because I really feel like she’s spoken for a community of young people during the war that would otherwise have been overlooked.

What I found most interesting about this book was Anne’s conflict between her “mask” of a self (the outgoing, chatterbox she is around everyone she knows) and the deeper, more sensitive self that comes out only when is alone. At the start of the diary, I too fell into the trap of believing her mask. At the start, she seems a little over-confident and it’s hard to really understand who she is as a person. However, the more I read, the more layers of her mind she unravelled, and at heart she had such a strong, loving character. Although she never showed her more serious side to others, the diary really opened up her contemplative side, where she had much deeper reflections on the world, others and her place within it.

Anne speaks a lot in the diary about feeling distanced from others. As a girl who kept her feelings inside, she talks about her parents not really knowing her. She yearns for meaningful connections with others, where she can talk about her deepest thoughts and fears, rather than surface-level acquaintances and, as someone who also prefers closer bonds, this is something I completely relate to. It must be difficult for her father to wrap his head around, reading a diary from his daughter that is so different to who he imagined her to be. But I think it’s a really interesting notion to think about – to remind ourselves that each and every one of us have a public and private self and we are all on a journey to align them.

I think the most surprising part of this book for me was Anne’s mature attitude towards her situation and the world. As she grew older throughout the diary, there were a lot of moments that made me really stop and think about her reflections. For a young girl living in destruction, she had some positive and empowering thoughts that show just how much an awful situation like that can change you as a person. As she mentions a few times in the diary, she became independent in her time there. She learnt how to look after herself and her mind in a time when she could have easily fallen apart. And it’s remarkable that her diary captures this in action.

I’d like to finish on a quote that I think is equally empowering and heart-breaking – that shows who Anne really was inside but is saddening in light of knowing her ending.

“In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.”

Anne Frank

Have you read Anne Frank’s diary?

I’d love to know what you thought in the comments.

Time To Bookswap!

Last summer, I stumbled across a website which has honestly been one of my favourite things lately: Bookswap!

It’s a place where you can offer your old books to others who can purchase them for 1 book point and £3.58 (delivery fee + swapping fee) each. For every book you sell, you get a book point, and so on…

As you may already know, I actually love decluttering and lockdown has given me more opportunity to sort out my clutter even further. As a result, I now have 76 books up on Bookswap that I desperately want to send to nice homes! (with a little message and teabags)

So, if anyone wants to browse my Bookswap collection, which honestly is turning into a bit of a library, head over to my page here! You only have to pay delivery once if you order more than one book. Also, as a bonus, you can get a free book point if you use this referral link – woo!

I want to say this post is sponsored but it isn’t; I just genuinely love this site and my books are taking up too much space at home – I’m sure some of you can relate!

Have you used Bookswap before?

If not, what do you do with your old books?

Let me know in the comments below!

10 Books I Loved In 2020

2020 has been a really great year of reading for me – after years of reading for educational purposes, I finally got back into the habit of reading for fun and I’ve really enjoyed it!

This year, I set a target on Goodreads to read 12 books, thinking it would take me a while to get back into the habit, but I surprised myself by finishing 42 books this year – a lot more than I thought!

As a result, I’d like to share my top 10 books for this year. Let me know in the comments if you’ve read them too!

Feel Better in 5 by Dr Rangan Chatterjee

This was the first book I read in 2020 and I’m so glad it was because it set me up well for the year ahead! Dr Chatterjee is most widely known for his podcast Feel Better Live More which I’ve been listening to for about a year now. He’s such an inspiring doctor – someone who really listens and looks at people’s health problems in a holistic manner, promoting wellbeing and mental health tips to fight illnesses. His book Feel Better in 5 is how you can change your life in only 15 minutes every day. Don’t believe it? Read it. It’s amazing!

Insomniac City by Bill Hayes

This is one of the most unique books I’ve read. Filled with snippets of diary entries and black and white photography from across New York, it was a very real account of what it was like for Bill in the final few years of his life with Oliver Sacks, who was suffering from cancer. I loved how this book was like a snapshot into lots of different people’s lives, and I really did feel consumed by the New York bubble he portrayed, feeling a little lost when I came out the other side.

View full book review here.

Outline by Rachel Cusk

Again, such a beautifully unique book. I really can’t describe Cusk’s writing style, but it completely blew me away. There is a certain honesty and exposure of human life in the work she produces that delves deeper into what it is like to think and feel in the world. It is philosophical, like a stream of consciousness, and bursting with questions and reflections. I remember reading this one in a matter of days!

View full book review here.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Before anyone asks, don’t worry, I had read this book previously! It had been a few years since I studied it for A levels so during lockdown I dug it up, re-read it and it was just as wonderful the second time! I remember sitting in the blazing sun in the garden during the summer heatwave whilst reading it and reminiscing on all the quotes I would write endless essays about. It was nice to read it just for what it is, to soak it all up for my own purposes. It’s one of those all-consuming books, and the Baz Luhrmann film is a brilliant adaptation!

Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom

There are so many things to say about this wonderful book! Another lockdown read for me earlier this year, this really got me thinking about what it means to truly live. Beautiful, heart-breaking and all a true story, this is one of those books I will forever be recommending to everyone I know!

View full book review here.

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

I started this book very much hoping it would live up to all the amazing reviews, and it certainly did! There is an internal conflict to the characters in this novel – you find yourself debating who to believe, who to root for, and who to ultimately side with, but there is no right or wrong. It’s a book full of honesty yet secrets, love yet misunderstandings. The relationship between mother and daughter is explored brilliantly, and, although hesitant at first, I ended up loving the TV adaptation of it too.

View full book review here.

The Humans by Matt Haig

This was another re-read for me this year, because it’s one of my all-time favourite books! Funny, honest and so heart-warming, this book may have a super weird premise, but it’s ultimately a reflection on what it means to be human and how important the people in our lives really are to us. I enjoyed it just as much the second time around, so can confidently recommend this one!

View full book review here.

The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom

Mitch Albom, author of Tuesdays with Morrie, makes a second appearance in this blog post! That’s because I’ve been on a bit of a spree collecting and reading his other books. Although Albom has a very simple writing style, I love the philosophical concepts to his books and they really touch upon the important aspects of life – what it means to be alive, and how we find meaning in the way we relate to and help others.

View full book review here.

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

And Matt Haig makes a second appearance too, but I’m not surprised about this one! I’ve reviewed 7 books of his on my blog so far, and I never seem to stop! The Midnight Library is his most recent publication and it might even be his best yet. When Nora enters the Midnight Library, she can take out any book and go back to a life she would have had if she’d made a different decision. Reflecting on regrets and the search for a meaning to life, this book is truly amazing, and the overall message is something I really relate to.

View full book review here.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

I don’t think I’ve ever had such a change of heart from the beginning to an end of a book. Eleanor is such an odd yet unique character and the more I read, the more I wanted to understand what it must be like to be her. This book was a wonderful reflection on what it means to be lonely, how important human connection is, and how to overcome past trauma – sometimes all we need is just someone to listen and stand by us, no matter what.

View full book review here.

What’s your favourite book you’ve read in 2020? (or top 3, if you can’t decide!)

Let me know in the comments below!

‘The Truants’ by Kate Weinberg [Book Review]

The Truants is one of those books that is really quite difficult to explain – both in terms of plot and how good it really is. Character-driven and drenched in darker undertones, I was consumed by a world that felt like hanging delicately on the edge of a cliff, never knowing what felt stable. There is no “one mystery” to solve; you are simply waiting around as many lives and stories interweave to create something much like a disastrous maze, in which no one can really get out of.

It’s not the usual kind of book I would pick up. I had no idea what it would be like going into it. But wow, I must say, I was really blown away by the writing. I loved Weinberg’s style, and I don’t often say that about a lot of authors. She had a very unique, simple yet meaningful style and I loved the parts that were written like inner reflections of the mind poured onto a page (those who have read it, you know what I mean – the ending).

Surprisingly, I realised during the book that it was also inspired by UEA, since the author studied her masters in creative writing there. This initiated an unexpected wave of nostalgia for me, since I graduated there, also having studied creative writing (but as an undergrad) earlier this year. Whether this had an effect on my connection to the book, I don’t know. But it did feel comfortingly familiar to me in some ways.

Overall, I feel quite taken aback by this book. It’s a truly original piece of work and a surprisingly good debut. There are flaws, of course – one of them obviously being the likelihood of a lecturer befriending her students – but at its core it’s a very intriguing read. I will certainly look out for more of Weinberg’s books in the future.

What book have you been reading recently?

Let me know in the comments below!