Lucy Goodfellow Reviews

 
80% 10 Book Reviews Professional Reader 
 
Lucy Goodfellow's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf) 
 
I post all my reviews for any Proofs/ARCs a publisher may send me here.
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My Life as a Rat by Joyce Carol Oates

— feeling what?!?
My Life as a Rat - Joyce Carol Oates

This is a complicated book.
It’s as much about Violet Rue as it is about the men that abuse her and the women that allow this abuse to happen. Although the book takes place over a number of years, Violets lack of character growth is reflective of the cycles of abuse that she finds herself in, which I enjoyed as a narrative and structural choice. Moreover, the pieces of flash fiction that are interspaced between the longer chapters do well to add to the sense of growth for the other characters as well as accentuating how stunted Violet has become. This makes her decision at the end of the novel all the more cathartic for the reader.
However, The first 100 pages of this book were very difficult to get through as it lacked anything that would make the reader latch on to the characters and care about Violet (given this is a character-driven novel). Yet once the actual plot of the book got going and Violet began her journey I found the book to be very interesting. But I can say that sadly although I enjoyed the book overall if I hadn’t been intending to review the book and hadn’t been sent it by the publishers then I doubt I would have made it past that first chunk.
The relationships in this book lack the intimacy that a person would expect from a novel like this. There is sexual intimacy but no romantic chemistry for the most part which was a welcome change from what we normally see from books of this genre. And since Violet's loneliness blended well with this theme it is clear that Joyce Carol Oates had clear intentions of what she wanted to say with this book.
Having said that the theme of Racism that runs through this book is also controversial and I implore you to seek out a black reviewer to read about their opinions on its presentation.
Overall, this is an interesting character study on the effects of separation and abuse on a child and if those first 100 pages weren't so difficult to get through this would be a 5 Star read. I will certainly read another book by this author again.
⚠Trigger Warning: Paedophilia, Sexual Assault, Racism, Domestic Violence, Implied Animal Abuse⚠

I was sent this book as an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

The Half-God of Rainfall

— feeling amazing
The Half-God of Rainfall  - Inua Ellams

This is Percy Jackson for grown-ups. ⚡
Inua Ellams does it again with an outstanding novella about heartache, motherhood and abuse.
I was enamoured from the very first line:
Portrait of Prometheus
as a basketball player.

Every word in this collection was perfectly chosen. Its concise writing style makes for an easy read despite the difficult topics that the author is discussing and this is largely thanks to his ability to craft relatable characters despite some being Minor Gods. I felt the rise and falls of these characters with an amount of emotion I didn't know I felt for them.
Character crafting in poetry can be especially difficult. However, I found it easy to distinguish one character from another because of how different they were. Petty female vs female hatred did not exist in the pages of this novel and considering some of the characters involved and how they are portrayed generally by other writers, I found to be very refreshing. Not only this but the format of this novel- free verse poetry split into books and acts, was something I had never seen for a book like this and very much enjoyed. I think this works very well here due to the influence Greek gods have on the story. The structure can be compared to a classic Greek tragedy and when you realise that it makes rereading the novel and an even better experience (especially as it made me realised that this was more the story of Modupe, Demi's mother before the perspective switched back to her).
This is a diverse multi-generational exploration of sexual assault that should be missed by no one.
⚠Trigger Warning: Sexual Assault, PTSD

Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2865572106

Lord of the Butterflies

Lord of the Butterflies - Andrea Gibson

This is an exceptional collection. It speaks to the American experience; gun violence, mental illness and politics are all discussed in breathtaking verse. I read this in an hour and in that time it took me through every emotion I have. I laughed through 'Boomerang Valentine' and felt my heart sink with 'Depression'. Poetry written by the same author made me laugh and cry within minutes of each other, earning its place on my favourites shelf. I will be ordering a physical copy of it to share with friends so they can read the work of Andrea Gibson in their best collection yet...

I sneak the steam from the kettle into my pocket
so the next time I'm missing the coast of Maine
I can gift myself the fog

Red, White & Royal Blue

— feeling amazing
Red, White & Royal Blue - Casey McQuiston

ARC provided by St. Martin's Press in exchange for an honest review.

What can I say that hasn’t already been said about this book? I absolutely loved it. It is delightfully Gay- in both senses. As a queer reader, I find it difficult to relate to a lot of romance novels or really get into them. But this book is easily one of my favourites of the year.

Synopsis:

When his mother became President, Alex Claremont-Diaz was promptly cast as the American equivalent of a young royal. Handsome, charismatic, genius—his image is pure millennial-marketing gold for the White House. There’s only one problem: Alex has a beef with the actual prince, Henry, across the pond. And when the tabloids get hold of a photo involving an Alex-Henry altercation, U.S./British relations take a turn for the worse
Heads of family, state, and other handlers devise a plan for damage control: staging a truce between the two rivals. What at first begins as a fake, Instragramable friendship grows deeper and more dangerous than either Alex or Henry could have imagined...
.

I absolutely loved the inciting incident, I was initially under the impression that it would be something terrible that the protagonist would have to spend the whole novel fixing but instead, it bowled me over laughing. And that's the thing about this book. It was actually funny. I laughed out loud more than once reading this and that almost never happens. Casey McQuiston capitalizes on millennial humour and culture without being cringe-inducing or making up new words to replace a trend that died three months ago. This is a funny book about funny people written by a funny person.

But not only that her writing was personal, intimate and heartwarming. To see a story so romantic and outright LGBT friendly still shocks me, nothing about this book- for me, was fetishizing or uncomfortable like a lot of other Male/Male romances that I have read. It felt like a love letter to the gay community, Alex figuring himself out will be relatable for a lot of readers.

Diverse characters litter this novel and if I were to discuss every aspect of it then I would be writing an essay- not a review. Alex is bisexual and mixed race, Henry is gay, Nora is queer and it's implied that a lot of the other characters are too. (Overall just really good representation). Addiction, politics and the downsides of celebrity are all explored at length. The theme of grief also runs through the novel and I think it was handled very well for New Adult book. The discussions felt mature, realistic and the way the characters acted really emphasised that they were still struggling with it. I think it was an important part of the story and I would like to read more books that cover the topic in a similar way. (I recommend The Astonishing Colour of After by Emily X.R. Pan for a YA Contemporary that tackles the complexity of grief.)

Every character is distinctly complex and likeable. Alex is the best kind of an asshole, June is bold, Nora is strikingly smart and Henry is literally Pince Charming and by the end of the book they've all changed completely. Even their parents are first-class characters. That's something I really enjoyed about the book. The parents were involved in their children's lives and didn’t just let them swan around and bugger everything up. Actions had consequences.

But, it isn’t without its flaws. While I enjoyed the romance very much but I didn’t realise the book took place over such a long time scale. This didn’t take away from my enjoyment of it but sometimes I just missed the time skips and it felt slightly jarring when scenes changed so quickly. Although, I did receive an ARC so this may change in the final copy. Then that will be ‘History, huh?’

Overall, I loved the book and I intend on buying it as soon as it comes out on the 14th of May 2019.

 
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The Kingdom

— feeling amazing
The Kingdom - Jess Rothenberg

I received this book as an ARC from the publisher Pan Macmillan in exchange for an Honest Review.

Okay, I loved this book.
This is the perfect YA book to read if you're interested in fantasy or sci-fi but you think you would be put off by confusing world building and extravagant fantastical plot twists. This book is real. It's emotional heartfelt and tackles issue relevant today by showing us the future.

The setting of The Kingdom is an obvious parody of Disney World and other amusement parks like it, which along with the excellent prose of Jess Rothenberg creates a real and terrifying world with augmented hybrid women created to serve men.

The feminist undertones of this book are not derailed by the romantic subplot as the book is more centred around Ana's family and her relationship with her sisters and how this translates to their actions in the world they live in. Themes of abuse and recovery inspire a dialogue between the characters that must be read to be believed (and you need to read this).

The retrospective prose and interview style of some sections of the novel keeps you on your toes and eager to turn the next page.

I could go on and on about how much I enjoyed this book but I'll finish this review by saying. Read the book. Want the Sequel. Gratitude.

(Trigger Warning for Self Harm and slight Body Horror)

Import from Goodreads in Progress!!

— feeling amazing

Hi! I'm new here and eager to get started making new reader friends.

I'm currently importing my shelves from Goodreads so give me a follow to see what pops up and stay up to date with what I'm reading next.

The Grace Year

The Grace Year - Kim Liggett

I was sent this ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

For a book that's 416 pages, it really didn’t say anything that I hadn't read before.
The Grace Year is a book with a strong premise and a lacklustre execution with plotholes, poor pacing and a structure that makes it feel twice as long as it is.

I was looking forward to reading this for a long time but unfortunately, I was disappointed by the book overall.

I am rating this 3 stars rather than 2 stars because of the ending (that I wouldn't have gotten too if I weren't sent this book for review) and the fact that this book may be more intriguing for younger readers than myself as I can see the appeal in it.

Manga Classics: The Stories of Edgar Allan Poe

— feeling happy
Manga Classics: The Stories of Edgar Allan Poe - Stacy King, Edgar Allan Poe

ARC received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

An excellent way to introduce new readers to the tales of a classic horror writer.

This collection adapts the main works of Poe faithfully with excellent storytelling and competent narrative skills. Although the art, in general, was stunning, the shift in art styles between some of the stories was jarring for the reader which is what drops this from a 5-star book for me personally.

Anything Is Possible

Anything Is Possible - Elizabeth Strout This book is like people watching. Thouroughly entertaining glimpes into peoples lives. We don't get the full story but we get all we need and there is room for speculation about the lives of the characters after we leave them.

Manga Classics: The Stories of Edgar Allan Poe

Manga Classics: The Stories of Edgar Allan Poe - Stacy King, Edgar Allan Poe

ARC received from the publisher in exchange for honest review.

An excellent way to introduce new readers to the tales of a classic horror writer.

This collection adapts the main works of Poe faithfully with excellent storytelling and competent narrative skills. Although, the art in general was stunning, the shift in art styles between some of the stories was jarring for the reader which is what drops this from a 5 star book for me personally.

Writers' & Artists' Yearbook 2011

Writers' & Artists' Yearbook 2011 - Jonathan Law An innovative book covering everything you would need to know about the Creative Writing industry, whilst touching on other important aspects of the larger career sector. Although, slightly outdated in its discussion of EBooks and Copyright Law I would recommend this book to those who want to be writers or be involved in that industry.

The Year of the Flood

The Year of the Flood - Margaret Atwood

This book is perfect.
If your looking for a critical non-biased review this isn't the place because I haven't read a book by Margaret Atwood that I haven't loved.

This is a dual perspective novel and the sequel to Oryx y Crake featuring many of the same characters as the original. I loved both perspectives equally, and the transitions between the narratives blended perfectly. You get to see Ren grow up and Tody grow old and how the apocalypse went down on ground level.
You could read this book without reading the first book in the series. Reading them in order will give you a better insight into the characters of Jimmy, Glenn and many others but I think that this book does a better job of making them fleshed out.
It felt slightly convoluted that all the characters were connected in such intimate ways but I dont feel like it took away from the book overall. It manages to cover such a long period of time in what feels like no time at all.
Honestly, I can't think about what I want to say about this book other than just read it.

Happy Zombie Sunrise Home

Happy Zombie Sunrise Home - Naomi Alderman, Margaret Atwood A great short story by two exceptional authors.
The only thing that knocked a star off this was the fact it ended very quickly. I would love to see this world being expanded upon more but I realise in the constraints that this format has, it does its job very well.

Big Little Lies

Big Little Lies - Liane Moriarty Reece Witherspoon recommended this book on Twitter a long time ago. So I had to read it because she is Elle Woods.

And I loved it. I feel like I'm really late to the game for this one, it was interesting, engaging and for once I didn't guess the ending. (Well I guessed part of the ending but not the twist after the twist).

Look, I'm not going to say this book is perfect. It's about upper-class white people in one of the most diverse cities in the world. Not a person of colour or a gay person in sight. But the thing is, I know places like this. I know women like this, with their blonde bobs and obsessions about their children's kale intake. They exist and this book is critical of the shallow lives that they lead. For a more critical and probably more interesting review of this book, I suggest checking out [a:Roxane Gay|3360355|Roxane Gay|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1407278304p2/3360355.jpg] because I agree with all the points she's making

There's nothing I say about this book that's not a huge spoiler so I just recommend that you start reading it now.

The Forgotten Garden

The Forgotten Garden - Kate Morton This book wasn't as good as [b:The Lake House|21104828|The Lake House|Kate Morton|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1455089249s/21104828.jpg|40462273] but its bloody close. I really enjoyed this one. Although I did predict then ending very early into the book and wasn't really thrown off by any of the false clues that [a:Kate Morton|615274|Kate Morton|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1536334121p2/615274.jpg] imagined, I was still entertained throughout.
It was the characters that kept it together where a weaker book would have fallen apart.
Eliza (my favourite) was complex, harrowing and heartbreakingly lonely.
I'm glad her family has found her again.
Wonderful book.

Ayiti

Ayiti - Roxane Gay Ufffffff, I said I wanted to read another [a:Roxane Gay|3360355|Roxane Gay|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1407278304p2/3360355.jpg] book as soon as I set my last one down, this one was a good choice.
Its revelant, origional and ultimately heartrenching. Like [b:Difficult Women|28818921|Difficult Women|Roxane Gay|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1478773519s/28818921.jpg|51184496], the book details the struggles of women, men and asks the reader to look closer at what they are reading.
I have so many thoughts about this book that I may come back and do a longer review becuase [b:Ayiti|11535502|Ayiti|Roxane Gay|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1472929920s/11535502.jpg|16474051] is deserving of one.

Lucy's bookshelf: favorites

The Silence of the Girls
it was amazing
tagged: favorites and myth-retellings
Circe
it was amazing
tagged: myth-retellings and favorites
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
it was amazing
I've read 20 books since i finished The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. But I still cant get it out of my head. ****This review contains spoilers**** Taylor Jenkins Reid hit me hard with this one. The structure, damn. The characters, d...
tagged: favorites and lgbt
Mona in Three Acts
it was amazing
This is one of my favourite books I've read this year. I absolutely loved everything about this book, its complexity, character progression and lack thereof. The stagnancy in which Mona leads her everyday life is compelling and drives...
tagged: favorites and arcs-sent-for-review
Red, White & Royal Blue
it was amazing
ARC provided by St. Martin's Press in exchange for an honest review. What can I say that hasn’t already been said about this book? I absolutely loved it. It is delightfully Gay- in both senses. As a queer reader, I find it difficult to ...
tagged: lgbt, favorites, and arcs-sent-for-review
You
it was amazing
You
I loved this book. I hate that I loved this book. 10/10 longer review to come.
tagged: favorites
The Handmaid's Tale
it was amazing
tagged: favorites
Hag-Seed
it was amazing
I've never read the Tempest. But I've read this book twice. Absolutely amazing
tagged: favorites
Unthology 11
really liked it
ARC provided from the publisher Unthank Books in exchange for an honest review. Publication Date: 25th July 2019 A collection that provides an in-depth, thought-provoking look into the minds of characters with questionable morals that m...
tagged: favorites
10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World
it was amazing
I received this book as an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This is an extraordinarily intimate novel that I haven't been able to stop thinking about it since I finished it. This is another important story by El...
tagged: favorites, arcs-sent-for-review, and lgbt
More Than This
it was amazing
tagged: favorites and lgbt
The Kingdom
it was amazing
I received this book as an ARC from the publisher Pan Macmillan in exchange for an Honest Review. Okay, I loved this book. This is the perfect YA book to read if you're interested in fantasy or sci-fi but you think you would be put off ...
tagged: arcs-sent-for-review and favorites
On A Sunbeam: A Webcomic
it was amazing
This is by far one of the most heartfelt queer love stories I have ever read. And it's a sci-fi graphic novel. The art was stunning, every chapter offered the reader a broader understanding of the world that Tillie Walden has created. It...
tagged: lgbt, favorites, and manga
The Handmaid's Tale: The Graphic Novel
it was amazing
Exceptional
tagged: favorites and lgbt
The Year of the Flood
it was amazing
This book is perfect. If your looking for a critical non biased review this isn't the place because I haven't read a book by Margaret Atwood that I haven't loved. This is a dual perspective novel and the sequel to Oryx y Crake featuri...
tagged: favorites
The Heart Goes Last
it was amazing
I love this book. I reread it one a year at least because it's perfect and I love Margaret Atwood
tagged: favorites
Lord of the Butterflies
it was amazing
This is an exceptional collection. It speaks to the American experience; gun violence, mental illness and politics are all discussed in breathtaking verse. I read this in an hour and in that time it took me through every emotion I have. ...
tagged: poetry, lgbt, favorites, and arcs-sent-for-review
Difficult Women
it was amazing
I've just finished this book and I have to say I think I'll be thinking about this book for weeks. Roxane Gay has managed to absolutely floor me with this collection. it's up there with Margaret Atwod and her short story collections in ...
tagged: favorites
House of Names
really liked it
tagged: favorites, myth-retellings, and lgbt
Alias Grace
it was amazing
tagged: favorites

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