Saturday, 17 September 2016

Review of 'No Plus One'* by Steph Young and Jill Dickman

Review of 'No Plus One' by Steph Young and Jill Dickman

This is actually the first book I've ever been sent to review for my main blog, Nourish ME (which you can check out here). This was really exciting for me, and something that I've been hoping will happen for my main blog for SO LONG. Anyhow, as I was reviewing it over there, I figured I couldn't leave you guys out, so here we are.

No Plus One is honestly like nothing I've ever read or reviewed on here before. We all know I'm a fiction kind of gal, and even within that category, my sub-categories are often fairly limited. This book however, really encouraged me to consider widening my boundaries, and stepping outside of my purely fictional comfort zone. I would probably describe it as a self help manual. This is definitely the kind of thing that, were I to stray slightly from fiction, I would invest my time in.

No Plus One is set out in terms of lessons - each chapter is a lesson and ends in 'homework'. The book is aimed at single women in their 20s or 30s (the age is a guess, but this is how it came across to me!), and attempts to teach its readers how to live a fulfilling life without feeling like half a person without their 'other half'. It discusses all the big things that single women often stress about, including how to meet people, how to deal with judgmental friends, how to keep your self esteem up, and what to do about sex. 

I found it a genuinely interesting read, and at points I even had a little chuckle to myself. General advice is interspersed with personal anecdotes that serve as a fab reminder that you are not alone in your singledom. All in all, No Plus One celebrates the idea that as a woman, you do not need to be in a relationship to improve any aspect of your life, and this is a lesson I think we can all get behind!

Have you read it? What did you think?

Monday, 5 September 2016

Review of 'Enduring Love' by Ian McEwan

A Review of 'Enduring Love' by Ian McEwan

I honestly never imagined that one day I would be sitting down at this blog reviewing an Ian McEwan book. Like uh-uh, no way. But here we are. Ever since I was forced to read The Child in Time for my English lit A-Levels I've been sworn off of McEwan's work, and even thinking about it brings a little bit of bile to my mouth. The unnecessary wordiness of it, the plot that trails off into nothing, everything about McEwan's work usually fills me with hate. And yes, I did give another one or two of his novels a go before reaching this conclusion.

But, in my bid to read everything that has been sat untouched on my shelves for years, I came across Enduring Love. I'm pretty sure this is one of those texts that, as a Lit student, I ought to have already read,but the anti-McEwan prejudice overtook me. 

I have to say that there were actually moments that I sat there thinking 'why did I ever condemn McEwan and this novel to a life of dust and neglect?!', but sadly these were outweighed by my ultimate lack of interest in the slow storyline. There were moments that gripped me, and I definitely ended up testing my own original perceptions of characters, which I love, but it just didn't quite hit the nail for me. If you are a McEwan fan, this one is definitely worth a read though!

Joe Rose is anxiously awaiting the return of his wife Clarissa, who has been on an academic journey for six weeks, at the airport. He has a picnic prepared for the pair of them, and they go to Hyde park to catch up and share a glass of bubbly or two. Joe can't predict how life changing this decision will be for the pair of them however. At the park, just as he is about to open their wine, Joe notices a hot air balloon flying overhead with a man running after it and a small child inside. Joe and five other men rush over to help, but everything goes wrong: one of the men is carried away by the balloon and brutally killed as he tries to save the child. 

Horrified by the proceedings, Joe tries to comfort one of his fellow rescue attemptees with a friendly pat on the back and a smile. Little does he know that this man, Parry, takes the action for a lot more than it was intended. Soon Parry is waiting outside Joe's apartment, declaring his love to him, following him, writing him letters, and calling the home phone incessantly. Joe tries to open up to Clarissa about it, but she realises that the handwriting on the letters is incredibly similar to Joe's, and she's never seen Parry loitering. Has the balloon incident affected Joe's subconscious more than he thinks?

Have you read it? What did you think?