Book Reviews, Bookish Posts & Tags

Throwback Thursday Book Reviews!

It’s that time of the week again! Here are three books I read around this time in July 2016.

I’ve been using Goodreads since 2012 so luckily I have a place where I can see all the books I’ve read over the past seven years. It’s such a great app for bookworms like me who like to keep records of what they read. I tried journaling my reading a couple of years ago and bought a wonderful journal just for that purpose, but after a few months I found that I wasn’t really keeping up with it as much as I would have liked. One of these days I’ll pick it up again, but for now I’ve got Goodreads!

How do you all keep track of your reading- Goodreads, journals, another app, something else entirely?


This was one of those ones I had meant to read for years but had never gotten around to. It’s a short one, I’m pretty sure I read it in a day. It was bizarre but I went into the book knowing that. It seriously creeped me out but I’m glad I read it and would recommend most people give it a shot, if for nothing else than bragging rights to say you’ve read such a well regarded classic!

Synopsis from Goodreads: 

“As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect. He was laying on his hard, as it were armor-plated, back and when he lifted his head a little he could see his domelike brown belly divided into stiff arched segments on top of which the bed quilt could hardly keep in position and was about to slide off completely. His numerous legs, which were pitifully thin compared to the rest of his bulk, waved helplessly before his eyes.” 

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This was the first time I tried the Great Library Read through my library’s Overdrive app. Anyone who wanted to take part got a copy of the e-book no matter how many copies the library normally had. Unfortunately I didn’t come across anyone else who was taking part since I wasn’t doing a lot of my bookish things on blogs or social media then. Still, it was pretty cool to feel a part of a big group read.

It was basically the Bones books meets Outlander. FBI rising star Kendra finds herself in England chasing the man who murdered her teammates in a disastrous raid. She breaks into the stately Aldrich Castle but is soon caught out and begins fleeing for her life down a dark stairwell. When she emerges, she realises that she is safe from her pursuers but she has a whole new danger in front of her: she has fled into the 19th century.

This book was also one of the first full reviews I posted on Goodreads. I occasionally left reviews, but usually I just rated a book and left a thought or two when I finished it. Parts of my review:

“If you’re just starting to read this book and you’re anything like me, the first few chapters will test your gag reflex. I was really turned off by the whole, ‘Kendra is soooo beautiful and amazing, and she’s a child prodigy superstar to boot!’ Barf. 

While I did not fall in love with her because she had little in the way of redeeming qualities, the other characters who were allowed to develop were very interesting and likable- but I’m not sure why any of them liked her. All the quirky little things about life in the early 19th century were very interesting as well! 

By the time I reached the last third of the book, the pace picked up and became so intense I ended up finishing it in one final sitting because I couldn’t put it down. Even I, the self-appointed skeptic detective, was surprised by one of the plot twists. I completely lost myself in the last few chapters.

In short, I did not expect this to be more than a fun vacation read but was pleasantly surprised to discover it was more than that. After the first few chapters, I begin to really enjoy the book and lost myself in 1815 Aldridge Castle. Yes, parts of it were silly and yes a lot of it was far-fetched, but for a summer read it hit the mark.”

It would appear that past-Jocelyn was a little harsher and saltier in her reviews! I swear I did like the book, though.

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I hardcore fell in love with this story and immediately read the rest of the trilogy. Plus the backstory behind it is so unique and enchanting. Ransom Riggs started collecting vintage snapshots as a child, usually picking them up at flea markets and swap meets. His obsession with the forgotten images continued into adulthood when he decided to use some of his favourites as inspiration for a children’s book. Eventually he fleshed it out into the book series we all know so well.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

“A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of very curious photographs. It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience.

As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow-impossible though it seems-they may still be alive.”

Because my husband is Welsh and into photography, I told him about the books and basically didn’t shut up about them for several months. He must not have been tuning me out that whole time because for Christmas he bought me a boxset that is still my most treasured boxset to date. It even came with copies of the photographs, a delightful addition I’m still over the moon about! This is one of my prized possessions within my bookshelves.




Have you read any of these? Let me know in the comments!
Also, feel free to add me on Goodreads. 

5 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday Book Reviews!”

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