The Places I’ve Cried in Public Book Review

The Places I’ve Cried in PublicImage result for the places i've cried in public

Author: Holly Bourne
Publisher: Usborne Publishing Ltd
Pages: 368
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Synopsis from goodreads:

“Amelie loved Reese. And she thought he loved her. But she’s starting to realise love isn’t supposed to hurt like this. So now she’s retracing their story and untangling what happened by revisiting all the places he made her cry.

Because if she works out what went wrong, perhaps she can finally learn to get over him.”

 

I am a huge fan of Holly Bourne and I love everything she writes so I was super excited to delve into her latest book. But this one was so different when compared to her previous work, not only in the layout and format, but with the style and tone of writing. It’s obvious from the title that this isn’t going to be a happy story and I was prepared for some serious issues to be raised and a sombre read, but there were no light moments to lift your spirits – unusual for a Holly Bourne book which normally explores serious topics with a sprinkling of wit and humour for a lighter read. But as I read on with The Places I’ve Cried in Public, it became darker and darker and was far from the author’s usual story telling.

The story is split in two and they run parallel alongside each other with the present day Amelie reflecting on her past, and her relationship with Reese who is a guy she just met at college. She visits places she has cried in public and tries to figure out where and why the relationship went wrong, but it soon becomes evident that this was no normal loving relationship.

Amelie’s past with Reese starts off in a giddy romance with grand gestures and startling charisma, but as the past reveals itself and we see more of Amelie and Reese together, little snide comments drip in and suggestions and hurtful comments that soon make you realise what’s going on and this isn’t going to end well.

It was quite spine-chilling to read the past and see just how easily Reese turned Amelie’s mind against itself till she thought she was actually going crazy. He dropped comments that were subtle enough to go unnoticed by her at the time but powerful enough to stay with Amelie until she was suddenly doing all she could to please Reese and apologising for things she hadn’t done. It was quite horrific to read as I saw this character crumble and shatter all due to this pathetic boy who thought he could do as he pleased.

It was so hard to believe the girl from the beginning was the same as the one being slowly chipped away at by Reese. I found myself torn between thinking Amelie was stupid for not realising what was going on, but then I saw how easily succumbed she got when fantasy was made real and presented itself before her, bow and all. Reese was so charming to begin with and did anything to please Amelie and make her happy – who wouldn’t grab that with both hands? But when she was apologising over and over to him and cutting her friends out of her life just so she could please Reese, I thought she was delusional for not realising what he was doing.

Then I read an interesting bit between Amelie and her counsellor, Joan which said something about a person becoming addicted to another and to the relationship and what it was like initially. She spoke about Stockholm Syndrome and it was shocking to realise that in the short time frame of a few months in which Amelie and Reese were together, he had managed to create all of this with a person he just met.

The Places I’ve Cried in Public was honestly a truly upsetting story because I saw this girl get pulled down and under by this stupid guy and he ends up destroying a part of herself she has to slowly learn to rebuild. And what does he get? There’s no satisfying ending where we see the villain punished because this isn’t a fairy tale – it’s real life and these things happen to people over and over. It make me despair for the men and women out there that have had a piece of themselves crushed by another and once that piece has grown back, it will never be the same again, all because of this horrid person and what they did.

It’s a devastating story of how in just a few months, your life can be shattered and you never saw it coming. It warned me that there are skilful liars and manipulators out there and all it takes is for them to find you at the wrong time. Perhaps you’ve just broken up with someone, or a dear friend has passed and you’re grieving, or maybe life isn’t going your way and you’re vulnerable – whatever it is, it’s enough room for that horrid person to wheedle themselves into your life and let maliciousness take sprout.

It left me feeling very melancholy, especially with the last page where Amelie realises that she’ll never be the same girl again after what happened with Reese and my heart breaks for all the people out there that have experienced something similar in their relationships.

Prepare yourself for a heartbreaking story that is only too real in this day and age. Look after yourself and remember that you should never be made to do something intimate that you don’t want to do. Beware the charismatic good-looking stranger and if your friend warns you about them, LISTEN. Take care of yourself.

Spooky reads for Halloween

Who else is loving October with its beautiful golden oranges and blushing reds, frequent rainfalls and pumpkin spice aromas? But of course, with autumn comes the fantastic celebration holiday of Halloween, and how do we celebrate? By watching Hocus Pocus, listening to the Nightmare Before Christmas soundtrack on repeat (as I’m listening to it right now) and by picking up some spooky books to read!

So I’ve compiled a list of some books perfect to read in the next few weeks and some books that have just been released that I can’t wait to read that sound perfect for Halloween:

City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

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City of Ghosts pages: 285
Tunnel of Bones pages: 287

City of Ghosts is a middle grade book set in Edinburgh that’s full of ghosts and a brilliantly spooky read for Halloween! The sequel, Tunnel of Bones has just been released and is set in Paris. For a super quick and easy read, you could even read them both on the day of Halloween!

Coraline by Neil Gaiman

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Pages: 192

Another middle grade book but with a very creepy premise – a young girl finds a door that only appears at nigh which leads to her ‘Other Mother’ who is everything she’s ever wanted in a mother. There’s just one small problem: her Other Mother has buttons for eyes. This edition has some very creepy illustrations and if you’re keen on this story then check out the equally spooky film!

 

 

 

The Witch’s Kiss by Katharine Corr and Elizabeth Corr

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The Witch’s Kiss pages: 424
The Witch’s Tears pages:
The Witch’s Blood pages:

A trilogy about a struggling sixteen year old witch and a centuries-old curse – it’s a very sweet trilogy about magic and friendship.

 

Toil and Trouble by Jessica Spotswood and Tess Sharpe

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Pages: 405

An anthology that includes 15 tales of women and witchcraft – could this book be any more perfect for Halloween?! There’s something for everyone with historical fiction, contemporary and all different types of witches including some LGBT representation.

A book full of short stories at this point in October is great for just picking up and reading one each day!

 

 

 

Forever Autumn by Mark Morris

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Pages: 256

If you love Halloween and Doctor Who then this book is absolutely perfect for you! I love the style of writing in this book as I think the author captures Ten’s mannerisms so well. This is a brilliant book for reading in the run-up to Halloween as you follow Martha and the Doctor to the town of Blackwood Falls for some mystery and spooky cats!

 

 

 

 

 

The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh

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Pages: 448

This is a newly released book from the author that brought us The Wrath and the Dawn that’s all about vampires. Set in New Orleans in 1872, a young girl gets pulled into a murder mystery after fleeing her life as a dressmaker in Paris. Books about vampires seem to have taken a backseat in the last few years so this a new vampire story to bring us back into their world!

 

 

 

 

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

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Pages: 458

The newest book from the author behind Shadow and Bone and Six of Crows, this is a creepy thriller about a young woman who gets a mysterious benefactor to monitor the activities of Yale’s secret societies which turns out to be more sinister than first thought.

This sounds like a very weird and creepy book that fits in well with the spooky season and I can’t wait to read it.

 

 

 

Which of these have you read or plan to read this October? And let me know your Halloween book recommendations in the comments below!

Daughter of Smoke and Bone Book Review

Daughter of Smoke and BoneImage result for daughter of smoke and bone

Author: Laini Taylor
Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (2012)
Pages: 420
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Synopsis from goodreads:

“Errand requiring immediate attention. Come.

The note was on vellum, pierced by the talons of the almost-crow that delivered it. Karou read the message. ‘He never says please’, she sighed, but she gathered up her things.

When Brimstone called, she always came.

In general, Karou has managed to keep her two lives in balance. On the one hand, she’s a seventeen-year-old art student in Prague; on the other, errand-girl to a monstrous creature who is the closest thing she has to family. Raised half in our world, half in ‘Elsewhere’, she has never understood Brimstone’s dark work – buying teeth from hunters and murderers – nor how she came into his keeping. She is a secret even to herself, plagued by the sensation that she isn’t whole.

Now the doors to Elsewhere are closing, and Karou must choose between the safety of her human life and the dangers of a war-ravaged world that may hold the answers she has always sought.”

The premise of this book was super intriguing and I thought this would be a book that I instantly fell in love with which, of course, I did. Set in Prague, I loved the atmosphere in the first few chapters as we got to know Karou and her life at college. There’s wit and a brilliant voice to the story even written in the third person, and it was great to see a fantasy novel set in the modern day with modern day problems. One such problem of Karou’s is that she has a secret life as a tooth collector for Brimstone who lives in Elsewhere.

Brimstone who happens to be a chimera, is sort of Karou’s boss but also kind of her adopted father and it makes for a rather peculiar relationship which isn’t out of place in the book. In fact, the whole book is one big peculiar story as we meet more chimera and suddenly angels are introduced! I found Daughter of Smoke and Bone a very strange book indeed.

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I’ve read Laini Taylor’s other book series, Strange the Dreamer, and I absolutely adored her style of writing and the characters and story she created – it was superb. What I found with Daughter of Smoke and Bone however is that it was a bit less descriptive with more focus on plot compared to description and setting the scene than in Strange. Relationships aren’t slowly built in DOSAB either with a certain relationship between two characters going at a swift pace. It was strange to read a book without that slow build when new characters are introduced, but it was totally in keeping with this whirlwind of a story.

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Strange was delectable to read and oozed outstanding imagery and detail whereas DOSAB is more fast-paced and erratic, with characters constantly popping in an out of the story and the plot flitting between the present day and past memories.

If Karou’s life isn’t crazy enough with collecting teeth for Brimstone, things get a lot weirder when angels come out to play. Suddenly, the doors to Elsewhere where Brimstone dwells are ripped away from Karou and she finds help from an unlikely source. There’s a crucial bit where we finally get to find something out that has been hidden from us and the protagonist, but it’s stolen from us in the form of a series of flashbacks which I found really good but also a bit long and it was like reading another story altogether.

This book was just one of the most confusing books I’ve ever read with this being me a lot of the time while reading it:

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However, this series clearly has a divide between two peoples and there were lots of profound quotes and similarities drawn to war and how dangerous hatred and endless bile can be. There are some very memorable quotes in this book and I love the different sections split up with a short sharp sentence that you think has nothing to do with the story, but really it has everything to do with it.

It was an interesting reading experience and I think there’s a lot more to come from this story of angels and devils and I’m keen to see where it goes! I’m currently reading my way through the second book in this trilogy, Days of Blood and Starlight and I’m hoping it will provide me with some answers and more excellent plot.

“Have you ever asked yourself, do monsters make war, or does war make monsters?”

-Laini Taylor, Daughter of Smoke and Bone