Showing posts with label book review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label book review. Show all posts

Wednesday, 10 June 2020

Never Alone by Elizabeth Haynes (book review)

Hey readers,

Today I am going to do a book review of Never Alone by Elizabeth Haynes. It is an adult thriller fiction book.

Never Alone by Elizabeth Haynes
The main plot is about a woman called Sarah who was married to Jim but he died in a car crash.
Sarah is struggling with debt in her home up in the Yorkshire Dales. She had a visit from a university friend of Sarah and Jim’s called Aiden. 

He needs a place to stay and Sarah offers him a room her home. He insists on paying rent which is an incentive as she really needs the money and the fact that she is struggling with loneliness.
Sarah and Aiden get friendly and after getting close after a night out at the local pub and the end of the night having sex together.
Over time feelings between Sarah and Aiden grow for each other.
There is one problem with the situation between Sarah and Aiden is that everyone other than Sarah knows that Aiden is a masseur and provides organisms for women as a job.
They have fallen out and it progresses that it is purely a job for him. He has been honest with every question Sarah says. However, over time Sarah accepts this and trusts him.
There is another friend called Sophie who is having relationship problems with her husband and gets to know a friend of Sarah's called Will.
Sophie and Will have a fling but Sophie wants to continue it further. However, this point will I'd obsessed.
He gets threatening towards Sarah because she had a one night stand a whole back causing him to blackmail Sarah.
Sarah has two older children called Louis and Kitty. Kitty is at university and comes to stay over the holidays at Sarah's.
Louis has fallen out with his mum due to his dad's death, blaming Sarah for not driving when the night his dad died.
Sophie at this point has told George about will and his obsessive behaviour. He tells her to vanish for a while to try and make it cool down. However, this only leads the will to lead on to darker plans.
I won't spoil the ending but with the weather turning for the worst with heavy snow and we find out the lengths people will go for the one they get attached too.
I loved Elizabeth Haynes previous work and so naturally was delighted to see another title that I had not read yet. I found the book a real page-turner and engaging. I like the fact that it wasn’t dragged out but there was enough balance for the beginning, middle and end section. Definitely worth a read if you enjoy a good thriller that keeps you guessing.
I give it 5 stars out of five.
Cheers for reading X

Friday, 5 June 2020

Mad Girl by Bryony Gordon (book review).

Hey readers,

I love a book that you can lose yourself totally in and can't wait for every opportunity to sit and flick through the pages. 

This book did just that. It is a biography of Bryony Gordon who is a journalist for several years. She writes openly and honestly about her first-hand experience of living with OCD and clinical depression.



As a suffer from both clinical depression and OCD I felt I could really identify with how Bryony expressed her experiences clearly, how out of nowhere something triggered causing the panic and obsession. Almost like someone flicking on a switch.

I feel that this is an honest reflection of OCD. It is also not your typical cleaning OCD but a main focus on the thoughts and how they influence behaviour.

As a mother, I also found the area about motherhood particularly around pregnancy interesting and relatable. 

Especially when it is your first-time pregnancy can be very stressful. The early period of motherhood made me feel very paranoid especially with the debate about whether or not you should or should not take anti-depressants and the effect that it will have on your newborn.

I think it is an interesting observation mentioned in the book about the fact that Bryony comes from a middle-class family that was fairly stable with not a lot of trigger to cause mental illness. It goes to show that money can't pay for everything and that mental health affects all walks of life.  

The only good thinks about being wealthy is getting better care privately. The reason Bryony and her mum chose private over NHS is shockingly poor and a long waiting list to boot. 

Mad Girl: Amazon.co.uk: Gordon, Bryony: 9781472232083: Books

Though she chats openly that it doesn't matter as you still have to work hard to get a good therapist that understands you to help with your recovery.
It is a brilliant account of how OCD can feed off you when you are mentally low such as being in an abusive relationship can trigger OCD behaviour.

Even if you don't suffer from OCD it is a fantastic way to help you understand better about the condition and help increase awareness for mental illness. Also how hard it is to find the right help and that if the Doctors dealt with it sooner then it would possibly be not as bad as the thoughts are not been long lasted for years as a way to cope with life stresses.

The best advice  Bryony concludes is cutting back on alcohol/exercise/eating healthy and just making sure that every area of your life is catered for can help reduce the OCD.

Bryony also reflects on her experience of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and the power of thought. 

 How CBT  worked for her and now accepts that slips happen, OCD thoughts will always be there but accepting them as just that but not taking them as the gospel is the biggest progress to live a better more fulfilled life.

A powerful message is that mental illness is not on the same level of importance of physical health. If you had a broken leg you would get it plastered. But mental health is still a taboo that is not talked about and at times shamed upon with stigma or being blasé with comments about being a bit OCD with putting clothing straight. 

It is much more than complex and intrusive than simply having things in a certain way.

Bryony set up a group called mental health mates where strangers meet up in London to walk and talk about mental illness.

There is no demand to change just a place to not feel so alone and isolated. I think it is a brilliant idea and I wish there were more groups around in the UK.

In my personal opinion, I think this is one of the best books I have read of a first account of living with OCD. It is not pretentious or glamorised,  just trying to get the message out that whatever background shit happens. 

It is great to help get the message about what it is really like to live with OCD. I definitely recommend it.

Cheers for reading X



Thursday, 21 May 2020

If You Love Me (Book Review)

Hey readers,

 If You Love Me by Alice Keale is a brilliant book to question trust and what extend you would go to prove your love for someone.



The story is based on the relationship between Alice and her boyfriend called Joe. Alice as an individual you feel really sorry for as she is portrayed to have low self-esteem and is seeking approval regardless and would go to great lengths to get that approval. 

The sad thing is that she is quite vulnerable and attracts not very good men who would treat her right.

It looks at the relationship between Alice and Joe and how it unravels to lead to horrific emotional and physical abuse Joe buts on Alice.

 What gets me is the friends and family seem to accept it even though they come looking for Alice and then I don’t know just vanish again, even though the horrific treatment from Joe towards Alice.

 It is a pretty awful situation as you can only do so much but clearly, power has a huge influence. It starts off with small things then spirals into a total loss of control.

Alice, in the end, loses everything and is left scared of life. Ok, Alice was not totally truthful with who she was meeting, who happened to be one of her ex’s, but she thought it was best because she felt she needed to end the affair with this man. She felt that past being dumped herself by her previous partner by phone was awful so she felt it was best to deliver the news face-to-face.
Therefore, you get the feeling she is just trying to do the decedent thing.

 Problem is Joe is untrustworthy. Leading him to find out and go to extreme lengths to manipulate Alice and even at one point getting Alice admitted into a psychiatric ward. The sad thing is that psychologists they saw Alice said that the reaction to Joe was extreme and over the top and that Alice clearly does not need to be in a psychiatric setting.

The whole over the reaction from Joe may be down to the fact that Joe’s mum relationship broke down with his father at a young age due to an affair that his father committed.

But here is the thing Alice did nothing wrong, she never cheated on anyone, she never slept with Anthony after she met Joe. 

So, the extreme abuse was uncalled for and any level headed person can see that. But with low self-esteem and sleep deprivation resulted in Alice thinking illogically causing her to accept Joe’s behaviour and doing whatever he asked of her.

Then one day out of the blue Joe tells Alice to go to her parents’ house in Devon as he needs a rest and time alone. He then calls Alice at a later date and ends the relationship abruptly, again always having the control right to the end.

Then things turned worse for Alice she lost all her money, her home, job and life in London. She spends weeks in bed and basically went through a similar experience of people who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.

She has not been to the police which is sad because of the threads of power Joe has over her. She has to change job because Joe is in a similar job environment.

The sad thing really is the injustice of Joe getting away with it and potentially treated another person in a similar way.

Alice has to totally rebuild her life whilst Joe is doing well and moving further up in his career. Alice now has to change her job and start at the bottom.

With help from friends and family, she is slowly rebuilding her life. But due to NHS waiting list as she now cannot afford private therapy she has to battle for months with the mental torture that has been inflicted by Joe.

After reading this you feel angry but afraid for the next victim of Joe’s. You hope that justice is met and does get you thinking politically about the rules within criminal justice. 

It is a really emotional read and a page-turner but be warned it is not for the light-hearted.

Cheers for reading X