book review

Stephen King – The Outsider Review

Hello again! I’m back with another review. This book I bought from Waterstones in my November haul, which you can read about in my previous post! I was so excited to read this, given the fact that as a teen, Stephen King was one of my favourite authors. I was constantly reading his books and it’s been a couple of years since I read anything by him. So without further delay, The Outsider!

The cover of this book is striking. Very bright, the whole cover just stands out so much. The block lettering, the contrasting colours, everything just screams out for attention. You couldn’t walk past this on a desk or a shelf and not notice it. The patchiness of the writing in the bold font combined with the bold and creepy double silhouette illustration adds a feeling of curiosity and ambiguity to what The Outsider is. It’s the perfect cover to grab a readers curiosity but leaves them with a feeling of mystery of what this book is. What is The Outsider? This book is quite a big book, but I didn’t feel a sense of foreboding about this being a lengthy read, I was quite excited, I was so curious.

The synopsis on the back of the book is short, punchy and so effective. It’s straight to the point and doesn’t give away too much. I’ve included it below for your reference.

A horrifying crime.

Water-tight evidence points to a single suspect.

Except he was seventy miles away, with an iron-clad alibi.

Detective Anderson sets out to investigate the impossible: how can the suspect have been both at the scene of the crime and in another town?

Feeling curious yet? I definitely was when I read this! Underneath the synopsis there are also some praising reviews from The Sunday Express, Sun and Guardian that ensure an amazing read.

When it comes down to the actual writing, I wasn’t disappointed. It was just as fun to read as all the Stephen King novels that I’ve read in the past. It did surprise me how it seemed more a crime novel than a horror or supernatural story when I first started reading this. It kept this tone throughout the first few sections. However, we do get a lot of twisty storylines in this story that keeps you guessing and this then brought us a touch of the supernatural and the creepy that Stephen King is known for following books such as It and The Shining.

King kept me engaged and guessing all the way through and all his characters were so three dimensional. The good guys I couldn’t help but love, the bad guys I despised. I felt the characters emotions as my own as I experienced them in the book. The crimes that are mentioned in the book are quite sensitive and hard to read about but I think Stephen King dealt with them in a sensitive tasteful manner while still providing a realistic narrative throughout the book. I would warn people that the crimes are quite graphic and could potentially be quite upsetting but it isn’t the main focus throughout the book.

All in all, I would recommend this book to crime, thriller and creepy story lovers alike. I was thoroughly entertained by the storyline and it kept me guessing every step of the way. I am looking forward to adding more of Stephen King back on to my bookshelf again in the very near future!

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Pillow Thoughts III – Courtney Peppernell Review

It’s the first ever review, ahhhh! The first book that I’ve read this month was a third installment of a poetry series. I ate it up in about an hour on Sunday morning. I picked this up in the Waterstones in Manchester Arndale Centre when me and Joe was away for the weekend. I’d read the first two and quite enjoyed them, so when I came across this one I was quite excited to read it. So this book by Courtney Peppernell named Pillow Thoughts III also has a subtitle Mending The Mind. Which I love, I’m all about growing and progressing after trauma and I’m a big mental health advocate. Having suffered from mental illness for years I am so passionate about supporting others that are fighting similar battles.

The cover is Peppernell’s usual cool edgy look. The background is dark black and purple and the material is like a soft matte feel, I don’t know how to explain it but it makes the book feel nice to hold. The title and author name is bold and white and really captures the attention of readers and then she has this illustration of an owl and a jelly fish which is really different and so cute which I really love. Overall to look at this book is lovely. If we went off of looks alone for how great a book is, this book would be a fab edition to any bookshelf. But sadly, creating a bestselling book, is not that easy. Though she manages it well enough.

So on the back the synopsis is a little like a review. I’ll insert it below so you can see…

In a voice that is inclusive and open to all, Courtney Peppernell returns with the third installment of her bestselling Pillow Thoughts series.

A beautifully raw and poignant collection of poetry and prose, Pillow Thoughts III: Mending the Mind captures what we are all thinking and feeling.

Fix yourself a warm drink and settle into Peppernell’s words as she pens a tribute to her readers who are bravely continuing their journey from hurt to healing.

I think this type of synopsis is always quite effective because it doesn’t feel like an author saying “Hey! Come buy my book it’s amazing” it gives the feeling that someone else is saying “Okay so, I read this book and it’s actually pretty good” which as a recommendation holds more weight if an outsiders is telling you to read it rather than the person who wrote it. If that makes sense? But I like this approach.

So onto the actual writing. The first pages that you open up to after the thanks and the acknowledgments is a poem that starts with the line “Before we begin, I’d like to remind you of a story.” This poem is so beautiful and so perfect to start off this book of healing. It is a story of a Jellyfish called You. Who rebuilds the cracks and rose up from their trauma. And obviously the jellyfish is the reader, we are all You and I think it is so powerful and so beautiful. Without even reading further I knew I would adore this book just as much as I did the first two, possibly even more.

The book is split into five chapters:

  • If your mind is on someone
  • If your mind needs repairing
  • If your mind has doubts
  • If your mind needs inspiration
  • These are for your mind

I love these sections, it kind of reminds me a little of The Poetry Pharmacy by William Sieghart, different poems prescribed for different kinds of feeling. Peppernell’s poetry as always is relatable, eloquent and heart warming. I would definitely read this book again, and I would definitely recommend it and it’s previous installments to other people. Amazing as always!

Star Rating : ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I cant love this series and this book more.

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A welcome and a November Book Haul

Hi! I’ve been playing around with the idea of a full blown book blog now for a while and here we are! I’ve been using Tumblr a lot but I felt a little bit awkward posting long posts and reviews there because it’s more like a social media platform and frankly, I didn’t want to be annoying. My main outlet for this blog is mainly to share what I’m reading/buying month to month, do a few little reviews and maybe even eventually do some give aways or even branch out to YouTube, but we will see how this goes first.

So a little about me, I’m 23 and I’m from South Yorkshire. I read absolutely all sorts. I’m not one of those people that are like “yeah I only read YA or I don’t read anything other than crime” I just can’t do it. My shelf has everything from Shakespeare to Charles Bukowski to Stephen King and much more. I like variety. It keeps reading interesting for me. I also try to write a little here and there, mostly just poetry and songs but I am working at writing my first longer piece but it is taking me a while!

I’m going to try and keep this first post short and sweet and finish it off with a little book haul for November! So yesterday me and my other half had a little trip to the best place on this planet. Yes you guessed it, Waterstones! Waterstones is my favourite book store without a doubt. I absolutely love the staff in the Meadowhall store, they give the best recommendations and are so friendly and chatty. I try not to shop anywhere else. So we went in and I picked up 6 books and Joe got two. A little background into Joe’s reading journey, when we started dating about a year ago, he told me he hated books and would never get into reading. However, a year into our relationship and what do you know, they boy is reading! Mostly sport books so he picked up Peter Crouch’s new book called “How to be a Footballer” and also he got The Slow Cook Book because he loves his cooking and his new toy is a slow cooker. It is his pride and joy. I think he loves it more than me. Not going to lie. I can’t tell you how he’s enjoying them because he’s still reading a biography by an MMA fighter but I will update you when possible!

So for myself I picked up 6 books and they were all fiction, varying in genres. I didn’t intend to buy this many however, that deadly Buy One Get One Half-Price offer steals my money every god damn time. I’m not even mad though because everything I bought I’m really excited to read. So the first book I bought was a Stephen King book and I’m so so excited about this one. I used to read Stephen King a lot when I was a teenager before they closed down our local library and I haven’t read him in a while. So when I saw The Outsider on those deadly offer tables I had to get it. I actually started reading it in the car on the way home and I’m enjoying it so far. I just love the way that Stephen King writes.

The second book that I picked up was what sounds like a thriller style book. I originally saw this book in the Morrison’s near where I work and it really grabbed my attention but I decided not to buy it. Yes I’m as surprised as you are. The storyline sounds very different to anything I’ve come across before, so I’m definitely curious to find out what happens. It is The Taking of Annie Thorne, by C.J. Tudor.

The next book is a murder mystery kind of book that has been on my TBR list on the Waterstones app for a while and I do love a good murder mystery book, I find them super easy to read and I like to read them when I’m in a bit of a slump or after a particularly hard read. This one is called Nine Perfect Strangers and its by Liane Moriarty. I also got another couple of murder mystery / crime books as well the first is another that was on my TBR list which is The Chestnut Man by Søren Sveistrup again the storyline seemed to be a little different from the usual run of the mill crime novel so I thought I’d give it a go. And the third, I’ll be honest I had no idea what it was when I bought it until I got it home. I had an odd number of books for the half price offer and the cashier just recommended it so I said yes… No hard sale needed. So this one is called The Hunting Party and it is by Lucy Foley and it actually sounds half decent.

So the final book that I bought for my November Haul was a book that I’d seen on so many book blogs and in so many tumblr posts and the reviews always seemed so positive. It took me a while to decide to buy it as I couldn’t decide if it was something that I could personally get into but I caved, and I now own a copy and I do actually intend to read it and I am excited to actually. It is The Gold Finch by Donna Tartt. You know the one. It’s every where!

So that was just a very brief run through of what this site is about and what you will most likely find me reading. I’m really looking forward to developing this site and I can’t wait to see what it does. If you made it this far thank you and I hope to see you reading future posts too! Feel free to comment about the books you love, what you’re reading or what you want to read and any post ideas that you have or would like to see. And most importantly keep enjoying reading!