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Trying to live a more minimal and conscious life in search of pure happiness and joy

Book Club No.9



Okay okay, I hold my hands up and I will apologise straight off the bat that this week's lifestyle post is another Book Club post but guys, I've just really been into my books lately. Not only have I really been into reading more and more lately, what I've been picking up to read has been absolutely marvellous so I guess that might be why I'm enjoying it so much. Although I loved some of the books I read back in my last post from the month of March, a couple of things I read in April and May were *so good* that I just don't know where to begin. For climax sake, let's start with the "not as amazing but still pretty good" one, shall we?

Grief is the Thing with Feathers by Max Porter
Initially, I never even noticed this book. Matt was the one who picked it up, read the blurb, and told me I'd probably like it and he wasn't wrong. This is possibly one of the shortest books I've ever read but also one of the most confusing yet sad books too. As the name and the cover might suggest, the overarching theme of the story is grief and it centres around two young boys living in London with their dad, dealing with the aftermath of how it feels to love a loved one - their mum. Their mum suddenly dies and the story follows "the thing with feathers" playing a major part in how the father in particular deals with this grief. And of course, the thing with feathers in your friendly neighbourhood crow. The crow is like a guest in the family home and the novella's writing style takes a little while to get used to because of this. It jumps wildly from making sense to insensible babble and essentially cawing which is the crow. It reads like a long poem at times and then in other instances, it bloats out into a regular novel. I really enjoyed reading this and it's certainly unique in it's style but it's so extremely relatable if you've ever lost a loved one becaue Porter somehow manages to capture so many thoughts and feelings in the wake of grief. If you can stomach the hop skip and jump style writing and have literally a spare hour or two, plough your way through this. You can pick up this novella in various formats here



Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Now, this is possibly a book you've definitely all heard of, but believe it or not, I only read it recently. It's a number one best seller and was relatively recently made into a Hollywood Tim Burton movie (which yep, I'm still yet to see - I know, shame on me,) which isn't the least bit surprisingly considering just how good it is. After debating which book to get in the Waterstones Buy One Get One Half Price deal, I finally settled on this and I've not looked back. This is the first book in a trilogy and I'm definitely going to be reading the rest asap but I should probably tell you why before I waffle on too much. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children follows a main character Jacob who, after a horrific family tragedy, decides to travel to a remote island off the coast of Wales to find out the truth about his grandfather. His grandfather lived on the island during World War II and as a young Jewish boy, made some peculiar friends that quite frankly, no one in the family believes to be real.

Turns out the peculiar pals? They're 1OO% real and Jacob 1OO% meets them all. Riggs writing style in this book is so gripping in such a subtle way so I really struggled to put this book down and completed it in a day and a half. For me, the story has the same gripping dynamics the likes of something like Harry Potter had for me when I was younger and when I first read the HP books. Something else that I particularly liked about this book was the use of old vintage photographs throughout the book. Riggs' collects old photographs as a hobby and includes some in the book which have either influenced character designs in the story or are similar to what he had in mind when he was writing. They really help give the true creepy sense to the story and also help the reader to visualise the characters in an even clearer way despite his beautifully detailed yet not too descriptive explanations of various characters and their appearances/personalities. I honestly could not recommend this book enough and I really need to check out the movie ASAP. Pick up a copy of Book 1 of the Miss Peregrine's series, here



HEX by Thomas Olde Heuvelt
In typical Amyleigh fashion, I've saved the best 'til last. I read the first line of the blurb of this book and ran straight to the till with it. Horror fiction isn't usually something I read but the idea of this one was so intriguing I just couldn't say no! HEX is about a town which is home to an old woman who was rumoured to be a witch during the pinnacle of the witch burnings. Although it's the 21st century, "the witch" is still wandering around the town - only her eyes and mouth are sewn shut. Her wrists are shackled and she wanders the city in the same routines as she has always done but something is about to change everything. The residents of the town are used to the old woman popping up here there and everywhere and just accept it as a normal part of life however there is a power in the town that stops them from leaving and living somewhere else. To monitor where the old witch is at any time, HEX (a surveillance organisation) have CCTV cameras operating all over the town because the whole town knows that they need to keep an eye on her because if the stitches on her mouth and eyes were to come loose... All hell would break loose.

The plot is hard to talk about without giving away the whole story, but I assure you it's a brilliant book. The mix of the old world with the modern contemporary society is such a different branch of horror that sucks you in because it's so familiar and relatable despite being completely fictional. The characters in the story are so great - there's characters I absoluted loathed, loved, and found amusing. Despite being a horror book, HEX also managed to tug on my heart strings a few times and I found myself almost crying at various points. You really get sucked into the town life and into particular households and families so you get a great sense of involvement as you read. I should also probably mention that Stephen King rates HEX so if I can't convince you to pick up a copy of it, the king of horror and macabre storytelling should!



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