Reviews

Book Review | Not Quite Out by Louise Willingham

*Book given by SRL Publishing in exchange for an honest review*

Not Quite Out

Description:

William Anson is done with relationships, thanks. He’s starting the second year of his medicine degree single, focused, and ready to mingle with purely platonic intentions.

Meeting Daniel, a barely recovered drug addict ready to start living life on his own terms, might just change that.

There are two problems.

One: William isn’t out.

What’s the point in telling your friends you’re bisexual when you aren’t going to date anyone?

Two: Daniel’s abusive ex-boyfriend still roams the university campus, searching for cracks in Daniel’s recovery.

No matter how quickly William falls for Daniel, their friendship is too important to risk ruining over a crush.

William is fine with being just friends for the rest of forever.

Well, not quite. 


What I Liked

First and for most, I love the heart the main character William. Right off the bat you can see how much he cares for others and will do anything in his power to help and care for others. I really enjoyed reading about him and his life and experience because I liked him. Yes, he is human and when someone new comes into your life you sometimes unintentionally loose track of everyone else. But, is this not something you have done at one time in your life or witness your friends doing? Outside of the main character, I really enjoyed his circle of friends. They were supportive and truly cared about one another. I love a good friendship and to have multiple in this book was just great.

The next thing I liked about this book was how the author handled abuse in relationships. While there are many types of abuse, unfortunately, and every situation is different. I like how the main thing the author showed in this novel was to be there for the person going throughout. That is the most important thing, be there and make it known you are there to help them. This theme flows throughout the book, support. Support your friend, support your family and support those around you.

Just being there and supporting someone through difficult situations is the best thing you can do and also realizing that what is difficult to one person might not be for someone else. As I said earlier this book is filled with great relationships in this regard. While, these characters had their human flaws, for the most part they waited until their friends were ready to talk and express themselves on their own term.

One of the last things I would like to point out is that this is the authors debut novel. If I had not seen that on her website, I would not have realized it. I thought the plot moved at a great pace that suited the plot very well. I didn’t feel just thrown into the story, I felt guided, but it was not a show and tell. The setting was wonderful and I thought very well done. I mean, I do love a book set in college. More new adult please!


What I Didn’t Like

Honestly, there was not much I didn’t like about this book as you can tell from above. The only thing that really stuck out to me was that at one point it seemed more like a soap opera. This only happened at one point in the book and to be honest, the rest of the book was filled with heartfelt relationships and took on some serious topics in a manner that I have seen in my life through myself, friends, and family. Grounding the plot and narrative in the “real” world, might be why this one point stuck out to me personally.


Overall Thoughts

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I read it a lot quicker than I thought I would. The dynamics were great and I felt the author did a wonderful job talking about topics that could be triggering for some. But, I also liked how the author talked about these topics and how wrong things can go, but also show how good it can go as well. I felt it showcases how everyone has their own experience and how varied they can truly be, but also shows that good outcomes are possible and are constantly being experienced by people. But, it also shows that someone who is in a bad situation or has had a bad experience, you don’t have to stay there and you can have a happy and healthy future. At the end of the book I shrieked in delight, much to the surprise to my partner. I really did enjoy this and I can’t wait to see what this author does next.


Author Links

Louise Willingham

Retail Links

Amazon UK          Amazon US          Bookshop UK          Waterstones          Foyles          Hive         Barnes and Noble           Book Depository         Books-A-Million          Blackwells          Barnes and Noble

Book Information

Publication Date: February 9th, 2021

Publisher: SRL Publishing

List Price: £10.49 or $13.99

ISBN: 978-1916337367

Pages: 334 pages

blue background with text reading:
Tuesday 2nd - Tuesday 16th February
Not Quite Out Blog Tour
Tuesday 2nd Salem sunriseabramtru
Wednesday 3rd Vasudha booksnsunshine
Friday 5th Amy proseamongstthi
Saturday 6th Cheryl cr_burman
Monday 8th Madeleine ramblingmads
Tuesday 9th Jacob a.veryqueerbookclub
Thursday 11th Jeni shelf_blame
Friday 12th Jess chapterchatmer
Sunday 14th Rue sparks_writes
Tuesday 16th Luna bookishluna
credit to Louise Willingham for this graphic.

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Wrap Up

Wrap Up | January 2021

Hello and welcome to my wrap up for the first month of 2021! I ended up reading a lot of nonfiction, but honestly I really liked what I read. Who would have thought the year would have stated off like that? Anyway, here are the books I finished reading this month.


The Deepest South of All: True Stories from Natchez, MississippiThe Deepest South of All: True Stories from Natchez, Mississippi by Richard Grant
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This short book ended up having a ton inside of it. It had the story of Price Abd al-rahman Ibrahima, a history of a town built on slavery. The author goes into the history without sugar coating like quite a few of the people who live there do. He discusses the relationships and views between many of the towns citizens and how varied they are on the topic of their history itself and racism. He also highlights that there has been progress, but a lot more needs to be done. This town in particular was a very interesting microcosm of society as a whole to read about. I really liked how the author went to the town itself and interviewed many people within the town. Older people, younger people, white, black and those who lived there for generations and those who recently moved in.

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Assassin's Apprentice: The Illustrated Edition (Farseer Trilogy, #1)Assassin’s Apprentice: The Illustrated Edition by Robin Hobb
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed the start of this trilogy so much more than I thought I would. I thought it would be bogged down by world building, but it was done in such a masterfully natural way. I enjoyed the 1st period perspective, mainly because I enjoyed our main character Fitz so much. I am excited to continue this series next month.

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The Memory PoliceThe Memory Police by Yōko Ogawa
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am not a huge fan of dystopian novels and have not been for a long time. I read this novel mainly because it was part of my challenge to read the shortlist for the 2020 International Booker Award. I have to say I am thrilled it was on this list because I loved it. It was a dystopian novel, but was more. It had elements of science fiction and fantasy as well. The writing was grand and I give huge credit to the translator because it seems a lot of the magic of this novel remained in the tale.

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Not Quite OutNot Quite Out by Louise Willingham
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Given review copy via publisher in exchange of an honest review.

I really enjoyed the story quite a bit, a more detailed review will be posted on my blog on February 16th!

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TomieTomie by Junji Ito
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have read quite a few of Junji Ito’s work and I have loved all of those very much. As with those, his imagination and ideas are very original and the artwork is wonderful. Unfortunately about 1/3 of the way through this I started to loose interest because the plot began to feel repetitive.

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I managed to read a total of 9 books, 3,986 pages. Six of those books were fiction and the remaining 3 were nonfiction. I read 1 ebook, 1 audiobook, 5 hard cover and 2 soft cover books. I borrowed one of the books read this month from the library. I have 2 5 star reads, 6 4 star read and 1 3 star read.

What was your favorite book you read this month?

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Reviews

Book Review | The Learning Curve by Mandy Berman

Book Review

*Book given by the publisher via netgalley  in exchange for an honest review*

The Learning Curve
Description: 

A love triangle between two college friends and a charismatic professor alters the lives of everyone involved in this razor-sharp novel.

Fiona and Liv are seniors at Buchanan College, a small liberal arts school in rural Pennsylvania. Fiona, who is still struggling after the death of her younger sister, is spending her final year sleeping with abrasive men she meets in bars. Liv is happily coupled and on the fast track to marriage with an all-American frat boy. Both of their journeys, and their friendship, will be upended by the relationships they develop with Oliver Ash, a visiting literature professor whose first novel was published to great success at the age of twenty-six.

Now Oliver is in his early forties, with thinning hair, rugged good looks, and a checkered past–there is talk of a relationship with an underage woman, a former student, at a previous teaching job. Meanwhile, Oliver’s wife, Simone, is pursuing an academic research project in Berlin, raising their five-year-old son, dealing with her husband’s absence, and wondering if their marriage is beyond repair. This sly, stunning, wise-beyond-its-years novel is told from the perspectives of the three women, and showcases Berman’s talent for exploring the complexities of desire, friendship, identity, and power dynamics in the contemporary moment. –goodreads.com 


What I Liked

One of the major things that drew me to the book was the mention of a college setting. I really liked the section of time we witness the lives of the main characters Fiona and Liv. The college experience and time, especially the final year, are always filled with tough decisions and a lot of life changes and I feel like it really gives the characters a lot of opportunities of growth. But, I also liked that the author tied in another character at a different stage in her life. I felt like it gave the book a balance of changes and discussion you can face while getting ready to live college and the discussions you face while you have a life already built.

The writing in this book was really well done,  the style flowed nicely and when I read I read for a decent amount of time.  I also liked how the author dealt with some of the hard topics, such as a death of a sibling. It was done, in my opinion, a real way. When it came to some of the issues that these ladies faced, they weren’t the most relatable, but it was interesting to see how the characters reacted. Even though they were not personally relatable, they are problems that some people do face. Also, I would like to applaud the author for being able to keep track of all the obstacles faced by everyone, it shows the strength in her writing.


What I Didn’t Like

I am not a huge fan of dislikable characters, but I know there are a lot of readers who do. So, this is a book review where what I don’t like about it will actually draw you to this book. I love when that happens! But, my dislike of the character did not lead me to dislike this book, I still was invested enough to want to know how everything plays out.


Overall Thoughts

Overall, I enjoyed this book. It was like reading a rollercoaster. There were times I really didn’t enjoy the characters, but I feel like this is a strength in some people eyes. Plus, for me the fact I still enjoyed the book with that really shows how wonderful of a writer the author is. I feel like this would be a good read for those who have no issue reading about some of the tough things talked about in this book and like a book with a lot going on, 4stars


Author Links


Book Information

Publication Date: May 28th 2019

Publisher: Random House

List Price: $27.00

ISBN: 9780399589348

Pages: 387 pages


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