Sunday, 3 June 2018

Spotlight on other books I've read this month - May

Every Note Played
by Lisa Genova

Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Published by Simon & Schuster


My thoughts

 ‘I’m not a cryer,’I say as I’m trying to stop the tears welling.
Here they come again, ‘But I’m really not a cryer.’
‘Ok, you’ve got me Lisa Genova. I’m a blubbering mess now.’


Every Note Played is an emotional and well researched story on the degenerative disease ALS. When Richard, a concert pianist, is diagnosed with ALS he is at first in denial but as the degeneration of his muscles progresses he must face a life without his beloved piano. Richard is a person who has a single minded love of playing piano that is at obsession level. the notes and tune are all he thinks of during his waking hours.
"He is no longer playing the music. The music is playing him." "Without the piano, how can he live?"

Genova describes the symptoms and the progress of the disease in a poetic and personally touching voice laced with overwhelming compassion. The characters' inner feelings are expressed with clarity and sensitivity.

Richard and his wife are divorced after a bitter buildup of blame on both sides. The accusations and hurt had still not been resolved and as it burned away in both of them neither knew how to start the repair. 

Genova focuses on relationships and forgiveness, the all consuming job of caring for a terminally ill loved one and the wonderful job done by home help workers. As devastating as the disease is the advances in technology to aid the sufferers and their carers is amazing to read about.
A recommended read. The emotion is real and not over dramatised
This review is part of the Beauty & Lace Bookclub
You can read the original review on Beauty & Lace here


Ill Will
by Michael Stewart

genre: Historical Fiction
published by HQ Fiction


My thoughts

 Heathcliff has left Wuthering Heights, and is traveling across the moors to Liverpool in search of his past.
Along the way, he saves Emily, the foul-mouthed daughter of a Highwayman, from a whipping, and the pair journey on together.


I thoroughly enjoyed Michael Stewart's take on the three years Heathcliff was missing from Wuthering Heights. I haven't read Wuthering Heights so I had no preconceived ideas of what he should be like.
The prologue gave me a good idea of Heathcliff's need for vengeance against Hindley and Cathy. Stewart's descriptive prose and superb characterization kept me enthralled throughout the entire tale.
Stewart includes many issues from the time such as the discontent of miners, prejudice, slave trading, the large gap between the rich and the poor, the low value of a human life.
Ten year old Emily's potty mouth gave me a few laughs. She was an old head on young shoulders. She had been through much and seen much in her few years and quite often it was her advice that Heathcliff needed to heed to survive their journey.

Once you get past the over use of offensive language in the first few dozen pages, it does settle. The graphic violence may not be for everyone.
This review is part of the Beauty & Lace Bookclub
You can read the original review on Beauty & Lace here


If Kisses Cured Cancer
by T. S. Hawken

Genre: Young Adult/ Contemporary Fiction
Published by Seahawk Press

My thoughts

Matt Pearce is depressed, working an uninspiring job and lacking any prospect of dragging his life out of mediocrity. That is until he meets Joy: a cancer survivor who lives beyond the rules of normal people.

Matt's dream was to become a writer but after too many rejections he had given up on it. When he is sacked from his call centre job, for being too customer oriented, Matt claws himself back from the depths of depression and decides now is the time to try writing again. Really do something.
Whilst out shopping he sees a woman taking someones full trolley then proceeds to the checkout and pays for it and leaves. Fascinated by this girl Matt follows her and confronts her. She tells him she does this to save time. They soon become firm friends. Joy was very much a free thinker, she helped Matt to open up and see a different side to life. To live the life he imagined.
If Kisses Cured cancer is filled with raw emotion and using personal experiences as inspiration Hawken has written a touching story filled with moments of humour to lighten the story but still give the subject the reverence it deserves.

 If Kisses Cured Cancer is a quirky look at finding love in unlikely places. It is about the importance of connecting with those around you, enjoying every moment and not being afraid to go skinny dipping in the forest. It will have you in tears of joy, tears of sorrow and tears of laughter.
*I received a review copy from the author

28 comments:

  1. Wonderful reviews! Out of the three, I think I would love to read If Kisses Cured Cancer <3

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    1. This was a great read. Very Australian with its larrikinism.

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  2. Every Note Played is on my TBR! Can't wait to read it.
    Great reviews!

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    1. Have the tissues ready. It takes a lot to have me in tears. This story is so beautifully written.

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  3. I couldn't read Every Not Played. I have seen the impact that ALS has on the loved ones of those with it.

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    1. I didn’t know anything about the condition and the story was very emotional. It may be a bit much for someone who has been close to it.

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  4. I loved your review of Every Note Played but it sounds like it might be a bit much even for my "I Need a Good Ugly Cry" TBR

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  5. This is lovely - I want them all

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  6. I'm in the mood for something happy so maybe these are a bit too heavy for me right now. I still appreciate their messages though!

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    1. Seemed to have a run of heavy topics. I’m on to something a bit lighter now.

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  7. I enjoy Lisa Genova’s writing style. I have that one on my TBR.

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    1. This is my first Genova. I have Still Alice on my TBR now.

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  8. Great reviews! Looking forward to your June reads!

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    1. Thank you. Hopefully I’ll have a few fun reads on that list.

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  9. Every Note Played seems a bit emotional for me but I still would like to read it, great review!

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  10. These all sound like very emotional reads. Great reviews! :)

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  11. Great reviews. I'm not a lover of emotional books though.

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    1. I do enjoy them but not too many in a row. Need to mix it up a bit.

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  12. Every Note Played sounds heartbreaking, but lovely! <3

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    1. I cannot stress enough how beautiful the writing was. This was my first by Genova and I’m very keen to read her other novels.

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  13. If Kisses Cured Cancer sounds like an amazing read, and perhaps inspiring a bit? Definitely adding that one!

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    1. The author adds some fun antics into the heavy topics of depression and cancer.

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  14. Wow, that's a really heavy month, doll! I have no idea how you're holding up, if I read that many emotionally-charged books back-to-back, I'd be a mess ;) I'm in two minds about whether to pick up Every Note Played - I really appreciated the perspective that Genova brought to early-onset Alzheimer's with Still Alice (focusing on the patient, rather than the caregivers), but I wasn't so compelled by her writing that I'm driven to devour everything else she's written. Hmmm... Thank you for sharing your thoughts on all of these, I'm hoping June is a lighter month for you! <3

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    1. Already into a few more fun reads for June. It was definitely time to mix it up. I’m yet to read Still Alice. I would recommend Every Note Played. Just save it until you’re ready for a good cry.

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