Set in Nazi England, 2012–2014, The Big Lie is premised on one question: What if the Nazis had won World War II? With this in mind, The Big Lie is a speculative work of alternative history. While nobody can say for sure how things would’ve turned out, I think the world that Julie Mayhew imagined is a rather plausible outcome. She evidently did her research and wove together the fascist ideals and lifestyles of the 1940s with contemporary ones.
Thinking about A Court of Thorns and Roses evokes a whole range of emotions in me — all negative. Of the books I’ve read this year, only The Miniaturist received a lower rating from me. After accounting for all my variables (prose, characterisation, plot, depth, originality, impact & voice), my final rating is a measly 0.857 out of 5. Rounded up that means 1 star.
The first time round I read Divergent in 2013, I devoured it. I loved it to bits. For most of my teen years I read contemporary fiction and to finally delve more into science fiction, specifically dystopian fiction, was exhilarating. Since then I’ve read more dystopian books, some of which impressed me more and some less. Also, this time round I tabbed the pages with post-it notes, annotated and cross-referenced. This close reading forced me to be more critical (in the analytical sense) as I read.
Fangirl was funny and sweet and wonderful. What I liked best was the college setting without an intense focus on romance. This book was about Cath who tried to find herself, even though she felt she was losing everything. She so desperately tried to hold on to familiarity through her high school boyfriend, her father and most importantly to her, her twin sister Wren. For the first time, she had to be truly independent. I believe that for many, college is the time to find oneself and Rowell presented this transition very well in Fangirl.