January reading round up...


Mad Girl by Bryony Gordon
'It's the snake in her brain that has told her ever since she was a teenager that her world is about to come crashing down: that her family might die if she doesn't repeat a phrase 5 times, or that she might have murdered someone and forgotten about it. It's caused alopecia, bulimia, and drug dependency. And Bryony is sick of it. Keeping silent about her illness has given it a cachet it simply does not deserve, so here she shares her story with trademark wit and dazzling honesty.'
I absolutely loved this book. An honest look at mental illness that was hugely relateable and written in a warm and friendly tone. I loved the way Bryony explained her illness whilst insisting that it is possible to lead a normal life and also including some intersting stats and important points about the stigma of mental illness. 4/5

The Reader on the 6.27 by Jean-Paul Didierlaurent
'Working at a book pulping factory in a job he hates, Guylain Vignolles has but one pleasure in life. Sitting on the 6.27 train each day, Guylain recites aloud from pages he has saved from the jaws of his monstrous pulping machine. Guylain discovers the diary of a lonely young woman: Julie. Julie feels as lost in the world as he does. As he reads from these pages to a rapt audience, Guylain finds himself falling hopelessly in love with their enchanting author. This is a tale bursting with larger-than-life characters, each of whom touches Guylain's life for the better.'
If it wasn't for the fact this was a fairly short book I'd have probably given up on it. Everything about this book was meh for me. The characters were two dimensional and impossible to connect with and the story was predictable and summed up in the blurb. Maybe if the book would have been longer we could have got more insight and depth into the characters but this just left me feeling nothing. 2/5

The Playdate by Louise Millar (Audiobook read by Clare Corbett)
'When Callie moved into her new neighbourhood, she thought it would be easy to fit in. The other parents have been strangely hostile, though, and her frail daughter Rae is finding it impossible to make friends. Suzy, with her rich husband and her three energetic children, has been the only one to reach out, although their friendship has recently felt inexplicably strained. Now the police have suggested that someone dangerous may be living in their neighbourhood, and the atmosphere feels even more toxic. Then there’s the matter of Callie’s ex-husband, and the shocking truth behind their divorce . . . a truth that she would do anything to hide.'
Louise Millar books read by Clare Corbett are the perfect combination. Whilst I enjoyed this it wasn't as good as The Hidden Girl which I listened to in November. This one was still a great suspenseful thriller that left you questioning which characters were trustworthy or not. Millar is really good at slowly building up the tension and creating interestingly flawed female characters. 3.5/5  



Girls on Fire by Robin Wasserman
Full review here. 3/5

Exits by Daryl Seitchik
'Claire Kim hates herself and the world she lives in. Working at a mirror store, she shows customers their reflections and daydreams about erasing her own. One night, on her way home, she gets her wish. Follow Claire as she wanders invisibly through the city and her own psyche.'
This was a beautiful graphic novel that mixed humour with a dark look at isolation and loneliness. It looked at the idea of invisibility as an illness and a young woman who is desperate to disappear, but when she does she realises it is not as she'd hoped. 4/5

Snotgirl Vol.1 by Brian Lee O'Malley & Leslie Hung
'Who is Lottie Person? Is she a gorgeous, fun-loving social media star with a perfect life or a gross, allergy-ridden mess? '
The first issue of this started out really strong but then I found it kind of went dowhill, not much happened and the whole thing seemed a little shallow. I LOVE the artwork and colours for this but the story didn't give me enough to want to continue it in a hurry. 3/5



Catwoman Vol.1 The Trial of Cawoman by Ed Brubaker & Darwyn Cooke
'For years, Selina Kyle has prowled the skyline of Gotham City as its most famous thief, Catwoman. But when word spreads of Catwoman's demise, Selina decides to leave the costumed world behind and continue her trade cloaked in the shadows. Unable to enjoy her newfound anonymity for too long though, Selina decides that she must return to her infamous persona. Donning a new costume and attitude, Catwoman returns to the streets and sets her sights on the serial killer that has been preying upon the streetwalkers she calls friends.'
I'm finally getting round to catching up with the older Catwoman series and this one is a huge omnibus edition which includes the graphic novel Selina's Big Score, some Detective Comics stuff and the first few trades of the rebooted Catwoman. I LOVED it and especially enjoyed Cooke's (with Allred) artwork. I think this catwoman suit is possibly my favourite, I really enjoyed the way Brubaker in particular wrote her and the stories were really strong. Selina is a badass and this book really showcased that. 4/5

Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life and Death by Amy Chu
'Instead of battling the Dark Knight, Dr. Pamela Isley, a.k.a. Poison Ivy finds herself as a researcher at the Gotham Botanical Gardens, studying the possibility of creating plant-human hybrids. But when her fellow scientists start turning up dead, she's both the natural leading suspect and the only person (or plant) who can crack the case. To solve the mystery, Poison Ivy must team up or throw down with her oldest friends and closest frenemies, from Harley Quinn to Catwoman to the Swamp Thing. Can she keep things under control, or will she be responsible for a deadly new harvest?'
It was exiting to see Ivy in her first solo series as well as seeing a different side to her character. I especially loved the issues where she teamed up with Catwoman and thought this was a well written story that focused on exploring the characters as well as giving and interesting and fun story. Hopefully we see more of solo Ivy! 4/5


Giant Days Vol.2 by John Allison
'Continuing their first semester at university, fast friends Susan, Esther, and Daisy want to find their footing in life. But in the face of hand-wringing boys, holiday balls, hometown rivals, and the willful, unwanted intrusion of "academia," they may be lucky just to make it to spring alive.'
I really loved the first volume of this series but unfortunately found this one disappointing. Not that much happened and I found it all a little immature considering the characters are at university. 3/5

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