Guest Review: Slaughterhouse 5

Hi everyone!

So you’ve probably noticed that I’ve been … scarce … of late. Well, let’s be honest, for a few months now. So the excuses include craziness at work, overwhelmingness of study, fatigue related to both of these, and, well, life. I am planning on getting back into the swing of things soon, but I also have an exciting treat for you – a guest review from a great friend of mine who also loves to read, and is awesome at putting her thoughts on books into words. So, here it is!

Goodreads link

Goodreads link

SLAUGHTERHOUSE 5 by Kurt Vonnegut

First Published 1969

Stars: 5/5

A masterpiece.  This book will take you a step closer to the meaning of life.

Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse 5 follows the journey of hapless American Optometrist Billy Pilgrim as he becomes entangled in the events of WW2 as a chaplain’s assistant.

However, this is a war story unlike you have ever encountered before.  The absurdity of war and the horrors that Billy witnesses result in him becoming at least partially unhinged- and his life thereafter is punctuated by episodes of time-travel and alien encounters.  The story concludes with the Dresden bombings as WW2 draws to a close.

Only a brilliant novelist could weave these elements into a work that is simultaneously so deep yet so consistently amusing and easy to read.  Vonnegut brings hilarity to the gruesome theatre of war in Europe.  Not something that would work in the hands of one less skilled.

Apart from being an enjoyable satire and a rather unconventional science fiction, make no mistake, this novel pulls some big political punches, especially when you consider it was first published in 1969 North America:

“I have told my sons that they are not under any circumstances to take part in massacres, and that the news of massacres of enemies is not to fill them with satisfaction or glee.  I have also told them not to work for companies which make massacre machinery, and to express contempt for people who think we need machinery like that” p24.

This paragraph would undoubtedly be as screamingly relevant right now in November 2014 as it was when it was first written, given the current global conflicts we are faced with, and the gun control debate that rages in the United States.

Overall, this novel is well worth the small effort involved in reading it.





Title: Rebecca

Author: Daphne du Maurier

Published: Virago Press, 2003 (first published 1938)





Back Cover




Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again…

Working as a lady’s companion, the heroine of Rebecca learns her place. Her future looks bleak until, on a trip to the South of France, she meets Max de Winter, a handsome widower whose sudden proposal of marriage takes her by surprise. She accepts, but whisked from glamorous Monte Carlo to the ominous and brooding Manderley, the new Mrs de Winter finds Max a changed man. And the memory of his dead wife Rebecca is forever kept alive by the forbidding housekeeper, Mrs Danvers…

In Brief



A haunting tale of love, and living in someone’s shadow.

My Thoughts



Our heroine first meets Max de Winter when she is working as a companion to a social-climbing busy body. She is wowed by him, and, it appears, he by her. They get married, and the difficulties in her life begin. Mrs Danvers… Oh lord. Everyone at Manderley seems to want to make life difficult for her, and to slowly chip away at her self-worth, and confidence that Max loves her. The house – and everyone in it – is filled with secrets. Everyone has their own agenda, and aren’t afraid of stepping on Mrs de Winter. And the whole book… totally creepy. I felt haunted by Rebecca myself! Didn’t help that everyone other than Max seemed to be doing their best to keep her alive.

This is a dark and heavy book, and I’m totally not sure I completely absorbed it. I feel like this one is best savoured, and read over and over to really experience it. When reading, I could feel there were twists coming. Though I’m not sure I’d even say twists, it felt more like secrets slowly being unearthed. You feel the depth of the characters and the plot. There is so much beneath the surface of this book. The house is a character all of its own, and the writing – I felt like I was there. The chill drafts of a huge old mansion (not that I have ANY experience in ancient mansions, but you know. I was transported and all that.) The sea. The fear of being overshadowed by your predecessor. The fear you’ll be found lacking. Or worse, found out as an imposter. du Maurier had me there, experiencing it all, totally absorbed.

The ending, well more the resolution of questions rather than the actual end of the book, I have to say I didn’t expect. I anticipated it going in a very different direction. Though possibly that’s more me being a product of the times, and obviously, being written in the 1930s, the times were very different.

This is the only book by Daphne du Maurier that I’ve read, and to be honest I loved it so much that I’m not sure I want to read any more of hers. Total fear of being let down! Have you experienced that? A book you found so brilliant that the thought of reading another of the authors’ books just might shatter you?








Absolutely. I can’t believe I waited so long to read this one. Sad, dark, haunting, brilliant.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Made Me Cry

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature of all lists book related, hosted at The Broke and the Bookish. You can click on the link to head to their website for upcoming topics.

This week’s topic is Top Ten Books That Made Me Cry


I’ve actually written this post before.  And like I said that time too, I don’t really cry all that often to books. Anyway. I revisited my Goodreads library, reviewed my books, and updated my list. So some of these are the same as before, and some are new!


Me Before You

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes*

My Sister's Keeper

My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult


The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

Boy in Striped PJs

The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne

P.S. I Love You

P.S. I Love You by Cecelia Ahern

Marley and Me

Marley and Me by John Grogan

Eleanor and Park

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

The Night Circus

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern*

Past the Shallows

Past The Shallows by Favel Parrett*

The Girl In Times Square

The Girl in Times Square

*Links to my reviews


Monthly Reads

Welcome to my monthly post where I let you know what I read in the last month, what I’m currently reading, and the next few books I plan to read.

January Reads

  • 10th Anniversary by James Patterson
  • Private Games by James Patterson
  • Private: No. 1 Suspect by James Patterson
  • Private Berlin by James Patterson
  • Private Oz by James Patterson
  • The House on Willow Street by Cathy Kelly
  • Beautiful Redemption by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
  • The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
  • Death by Water by Kerry Greenwood
  • The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt
  • Somebody by Anita Anderson
  • The House of Memories by Monica McInerney
  • Is It Just Me? Confessions of an Over-Sharer by Chrissie Swan
  • Darkwater by Georgia Blain

Goodreads Challenge: 15/75

Chunkster Challenge: 1/10

TBR Challenge: 8/40

I had a busy month! Or… I didn’t. So I had lots of time to read! Plus I went home for Christmas and whenever I see my Mum I get a stack of James Patterson books to read. I need to get a little more discerning about which ones I choose to read I think, especially the ones that are co-written, as these seem to be very hit and miss.

Currently Reading

  • The Suspect by Michael Robotham
  • On The Steamy Side by Louisa Edwards
  • Barracuda by Christos Tsiolkas

Coming Up Next

  • 15 Seconds by Andrew Gross
  • Lord John and the Private Matter by Diana Gabaldon
  • The Mystery of Mercy Close by Marian Keyes
  • Misery by Stephen King
  • Bones are Forever by Kathy Reichs

Check in at the end of the month to see how I went with my upcoming list!


Versatile Blogger Award

Nichole from NoFriendAsLoyal has nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award – Thanks! It’s nice to know that people enjoy reading my blog 🙂


Versatile Blogger









According to the rules, I now have to…

  1. Display the award certificate on your blog.
  2. Write a post linking back to the blogger who nominated you, and share 7 things about yourself.
  3. Nominate 15 other bloggers.
  4. Inform them of their nomination with a comment on their blog.

So 7 things about me.

  • I hate the heat. We’re currently experiencing yet another long stretch of 40+ degree days (and 30+ degree nights… ugh) and I can barely think straight. I can’t sleep properly, the gym is so not appealing in this weather, and I cannot even face cooking. Bring on Winter.
  • My all time favourite TV show is Criminal Minds. I own all the series on DVD and I do enjoy a good marathon
  • I am not good at early mornings – yet I choose to live an hour away from my workplace. Good thing I can sleep on the train!
  • I have always been a big reader, from childhood upwards. Mum used to have to pry the book out of my hand to make me eat dinner, breakfast, go to bed and get out of bed. We’d go to the library and I’d walk out with 15 or more books, and be done with half of them in a couple of days
  • I am currently studying a post-graduate diploma in Clinical Education
  • My favourite genres to read are general fiction, crime novels, and I’m getting more into YA of many genres
  • I love strawberries, mangoes and tomatoes – home-grown tomatoes especially

And now I nominate some of my favourite blogs

Looking forward to reading everyone’s posts!


Review: The Fault In Our Stars



Title: The Fault in our Stars

Author: John Green

Published: Penguin Books, 2012

*Spoilers included in this review*



Back Cover



Despite the tumour-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

In Brief



A touching story of living life to the fullest when all is uncertain.

My Thoughts



Hazel is dying. She has thyroid cancer with lung mets. And she’s living as though it’s over already. Then one day she meets Augustus at her support group, and suddenly life is worth living. They are the kids at school that you want to have been friends with. The alternative-type, honest, just livin-their-own-life-with-no-concern-for-anyone-else type. As they get to know each other and we get to know them, I just grew to love them. And it sucks. Cancer sucks. Full stop. But this is a book that doesn’t focus on the whole cancer-teenager-dying thing, while still focusing on it. The focus is on living with cancer, not necessarily just dying of it.

I really liked this book. Really really liked. John Green’s writing is simple, clean, humorous and insightful. He writes with innocence, while showing us the depth behind the characters.


But what would a cancer book be without a relapse? So of course there it is. And time is short. So Hazel and Augustus try to make as much of the time they have as they can. And it’s sweet. I also think it was necessary to the story. This is a story about cancer, living with, dying of, grieving and moving past.




A+ – This book is AMAZING. It totally blew me away!




DEFINITELY! You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll question your own life choices. Maybe don’t read it on the train… and keep the tissues close.

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Resolutions

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature of all lists book related, hosted at The Broke and the Bookish. You can click on the link to head to their website for upcoming topics.

This week’s topic is Top Ten Bookish Resolutions!

So without further ado, my 10 Bookish resolutions for 2014 are:

  1. Goodreads Challenge – Read 70 books. Last year I challenged (and achieved) 100 books. However, I felt at times that I ‘binge-read’ short or quick books purely to up my numbers. So, this year I’ve lowered my number so that I can commit to some longer books.
  2. Read 3 more of the Cross Stitch (Outlander) series. I’ve read 3 of these already, it’s an epic series and I think there’s another one coming out soon! I’d like to make more headway this year, and maybe even some of the John Grey spin-off novels.
  3. Blog at least once a week. Now I know that doesn’t sound like a lot, but it doesn’t take much to overload me, and if I over-commit I tend to go too far the other way and just give up. I hope to post more than this, but am not going to push myself.
  4. More discussion posts – at least one per month
  5. Post more reviews. Specifically – at least 2 a month
  6. Get my TBR pile down. I currently have waaaaay too many books sitting on my bookcase unread. So I’m participating in the 2014 TBR Pile Challenge and have committed to 40 books. Find my list and my progress here!
  7. Read more long books. I have a large number residing on my bookcase, that I’ve been finding intimidating and have been avoiding for a long time! Related to resolution 2. So to facilitate this resolution, I’m also participating in the Chunkster Challenge and have committed to 10 books longer than 450 pages. See my list and follow my progress here!
  8. Not really bookish but blog related so here it is – I have a fancy shiny new(ish) camera, that I don’t use enough. I want to take more photos and post them on my blog
  9. Get more organised with my blog posts. I’m TERRIBLE at scheduling, and I write most of my posts and publish immediately. Case in point: writing this TTT post at 8pm on Tuesday. I bought this pretty Kikki K diary again this year and it has month pages in the front. I plan to use the month pages to plan my blog posts!
  10. Post more quick reviews on Goodreads. I already give star ratings there, but not too many actual reviews. I don’t want – or need – to review all books I read here on my blog, but I want to make more effort on Goodreads, even if it’s just a brief explanation of my star allocation. Follow or friend me on Goodreads!

So there’s my Top Ten Blog/Book Resolutions! Do you have any of the same resolutions? Let me know in the comments!