Book Review: The Sunday Girl.

A review of: The Sunday Girl – By Pip Drysdale.

Source: https://www.booktopia.com.au/the-sunday-girl-pip-drysdale/book/9781760851743.html?source=pla&gclid=CjwKCAjwgbLzBRBsEiwAXVIygCSCjAc-SeKZXMCPTw4-QMBT9gLNFsdWBcwXc7kZKuGZ0zNR48wlHxoCE_MQAvD_BwE

TITLE:
The Sunday Girl

AUTHOR:
Pip Drysdale

GENRE:
Thriller

PUBLISHED:
2018

PAGES:
336

GET IT HERE:
booktopia.com.au

Overview:

Taylor and Angus serve two parts of a whole lot of drama. They have a volatile relationship. And when they break up, it gets ugly.

For Taylor, getting dumped is one thing. Having your ex-boyfriend post an explicit video of you on to a porn site is something entirely different. And now she is out for revenge.

But what starts out as a plan for some kind of petty vengeance, soon turns into something more twisted. Taylor soon realises the person she loved is not who she fell in love with.

With Taylor’s plan for revenge spiraling out of control, she soon realises it’s not just a petty game anymore.

My Thoughts:

Drysdale’s novel, ‘The Sunday Girl’ is narrated in the first person by the main character, Taylor. This is much the same as Drysdale’s second novel, ‘The Strangers We Know’. And in much the same fashion, the reader sees things from Taylor’s perspective and gets a first-person account of Taylor’s thoughts and feelings.

As I’ve said before, I’m not a huge fan of first-person perspective, but I did find ‘The Sunday Girl’ to be written better than ‘The Strangers We Know’. ‘The Sunday Girl’ was far easier to relate to, and the feelings the narrator felt, I began feeling too.

This novel had some interesting twists, and although neither party (Taylor or Angus) was completely in the right when it came to their actions, the ambiguity was realistic.

Overall, I enjoyed the book and the modern storyline.

My Rating: 3/5

Book Review: The Strangers We Know.

A review of: The Strangers We Know – By Pip Drysdale.

Source: https://www.simonandschuster.com.au/books/The-Strangers-We-Know/Pip-Drysdale/9781925685848

TITLE:

The Strangers We Know

AUTHOR:

Pip Drysdale

GENRE:

Thriller/ Mystery

PUBLISHED:

2019

PAGES:

336

GET IT HERE:

amazon.com.au

Overview:

Charlie’s life gets turned upside down when she discovers her husband, Oliver, on a dating app on a girl’s night out. Unwilling to believe her husband could be unfaithful, Charlie digs deeper, becoming suspicious of his friends, his work and his overseas trips.

But the deeper Charlie digs, the more danger she puts herself in. In a search for the truth, she finds far more than she was bargaining for.

My Thoughts:

Pip Drysdale’s novel, ‘The Strangers We Know’ is narrated in the first person, as Charlie. I find that writing in the first person can be slightly risky, as the story can become jumbled.

Drysdale does do an alright job writing in the first person, although I found the plot line jumps a little bit, as sometimes you’re in the moment, and then ‘Charlie’ will say things like:

And that should have been it: rock bottom. A cheating husband and broken dreams. Fair is fair. But no. Life was just getting warmed up.’

For me, it created an air of disorientation, and broke the suspense I was feeling beforehand.

Regardless, the plot itself was quite dramatic and had many twists and turns, which would keep any reader on their toes, no matter the perspective or tense. Everyone is a suspect, and no one is immune to Charlie’s scrutiny.

I can’t say much more without giving away all of the juicy details, so I’ll leave it at that.

My Rating: 3/5

Book Review: Boy Swallows Universe.

A review of: Boy Swallows Universe – By Trent Dalton.

Source: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37558445-boy-swallows-universe

TITLE:

Boy Swallows Universe

AUTHOR:

Trent Dalton

PUBLISHED:

2018

PAGES:

464

GET IT HERE:

amazon.com.au

Overview:

‘Boy Swallows Universe’ is a raw, coming-of-age debut novel by Australian journalist, Trent Dalton. The novel follows the main character, Eli Bell, as he grapples with finding ‘the answers to the questions’.

It’s 1985 in the suburb of Darra, Queensland, just south of Brisbane. Eli is 13 and juggling his junkie mum, a brother who doesn’t speak, a heroin dealer for a step-dad and a notorious criminal for a babysitter – and he has a lot of questions. Like whether or not ‘Slim’ Halliday, his notorious babysitter, really killed that taxi driver in 1952. Or whether his older brother, August, will ever speak, instead of writing cryptic sentences in the sky with his forefinger:

‘Your end is a dead blue wren.’

And Eli’s questions only get bigger and more complicated as time goes by. And as his questions get bigger, so do his problems.

Eli will have to come face to face with a psychopathic drug dealer and his cronies, meet the girl of his dreams, break into the Boggo Road Gaol to rescue his mum and meet the Dad he doesn’t even remember, all in search of ‘the answers to the questions’.

My Thoughts:

The only regret I have about this book is that I didn’t read it sooner. If truth be told, I picked it up more than once in the store, and, after reading it was an Australian novel, put it back on the shelf in favour of something more gritty.

But ‘Boy Swallows Universe’ was eventually in my hands, and before I knew it, I couldn’t put it down. The detail with which this novel was written is a colossal success. I have never read anything like it – and probably won’t for quite some time.

‘Boy Swallows Universe’ sent shivers down my spine, put tears in my eyes and made me look back on the raw truth of my own childhood – filled with drugs and thugs and alcoholics for family members. And although from the outset, we know Eli Bell has it tough, his story is one of finding himself, finding love and finding meaning in the mess.

This novel certainly sets the bar high for future Australian novelists, and has restored my faith in story-telling. ‘Boy Swallows Universe’ is a true masterpiece – a stroke of genius – and a testament to the author, Trent Dalton.

If you do anything before 2019 ends, read this book.

My Rating: 5/5

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Book Review: Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine.

A review of: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine – By Gail Honeyman.

TITLE:

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

AUTHOR:

Gail Honeyman

GENRE:

Romance/ Psychological Fiction

PUBLISHED:

2017

PAGES:

383

GET IT HERE:

eBooks.com

Overview:

Eleanor Oliphant is about to turn 30, lives in Glasgow, drinks vodka every weekend, has worked in the same office for nine years and is perfectly capable of living her life, thank you very much.

Eleanor has lived her life her way. Socially awkward, she leads a solitary life, without a thought for her appearance, her bluntness or her work colleagues jibes toward her.

That is, until a series of events unfold around Eleanor that challenge her very way of life.

After discovering the love of her life, Eleanor begins questioning everything about herself – what she wears, how she acts and what she says. She makes an unlikely friend in (the deeply unhygienic) IT guy from her office – Raymond, helps out a complete stranger and navigates her way through manicures, bikini waxes and hair cuts in an attempt to find her place in the world.

However, as we get to know Eleanor, we begin to unravel the ‘method behind the madness’ and soon come to realise that Eleanor may not, in fact, be completely fine. Little by little, the author shares details of Eleanor’s past, which shed light on why she is the way that she is.

My Thoughts:

My initial reaction when I began reading this book was that there was an ocean of difference between myself and Eleanor. She was a complete social outcast with clear, unresolved issues from her past that she either wasn’t willing to acknowledge, or didn’t realise she even had.

Yet as I read on, I soon began to realise that the author (Gail Honeyman) was slowly showing me that Eleanor wasn’t so unlike the rest of us at all. The task of connecting the reader with a completely at-odds character was done amazingly well by the author.

Eleanor may be odd, eccentric and everything in between, but she is also quick-witted, knows what she wants and strong-willed about getting it. She says it how it is, and there were many moments throughout the book where I laughed out loud. One example of the type of narration you will expect from Eleanor is:

I think that it is perfectly normal to talk to oneself occasionally. It’s not as though I’m expecting a reply. I’m fully aware that Polly is a houseplant.’

By the end of the novel, I realised I had come to see Eleanor in a different light, crying for her losses and cheering for her small wins. The novel is well written and evokes a roller-coaster of emotions.

This truly is an excellent book, with a clear message of hope and resilience.

My Rating: 4/5