173. The Heart Goes Last -Margaret Atwood

 Title: The Heart Goes Last

Author: Margaret Atwood

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

On the Shelves: Fiction> Dystopian

Margaret Atwood puts the human heart to the ultimate test in an utterly brilliant new novel that is as visionary as The Handmaid’s Tale and as richly imagined as The Blind Assassin.
Stan and Charmaine are a married couple trying to stay afloat in the midst of an economic and social collapse. Job loss has forced them to live in their car, leaving them vulnerable to roving gangs. They desperately need to turn their situation around – and fast. The Positron Project in the town of Consilience seems to be the answer to their prayers. No one is unemployed and everyone gets a comfortable, clean house to live in… for six months out of the year. On alternating months, residents of Consilience must leave their homes and function as inmates in the Positron prison system. Once their month of service in the prison is completed, they can return to their “civilian” homes. 
At first, this doesn’t seem like too much of a sacrifice to make in order to have a roof over one’s head and food to eat. But when Charmaine becomes romantically involved with the man who lives in their house during the months when she and Stan are in the prison, a series of troubling events unfolds, putting Stan’s life in danger. With each passing day, Positron looks less like a prayer answered and more like a chilling prophecy fulfilled. (Goodreads 2017)

Sidenote: I am updating this from the wordpress app so I apologise for the lack of a cut to  save your pages-I will get it edited.

This is the second book of Atwood’s I have read, the first being The Handmaid’s Tale, back when I was doing A level English Lit in school. I have wanted to read more of her work since then but just hadn’t gotten around to it. 

The Heart Goes Last is a dystopian fiction where society has gone to the dogs. The economy is awful, no employment, the property bubble has burst and people, including Stan and Charmaine, are living out of their car on scraps and begging for any opportunity.  And then opportunity comes knocking-or so it seems.

The powers thay be have set up a “safe space” for any persons who get accepted into the programme. It will secure property, employment, boost the economy and help citizens feel they are valued again while ensuring they do not go cold and hungry. The catch? Half of their time will be spent in allocated accomodation, living normally with their families. The other half will be spent in prison, completing work such as factory work- horticulture, sewing and the like. It seems like a grand idea but it starts to unravel for Stan and Charmaine when Stan starts to get paranoid that Charmaine is having an affair…is he paranoid after all?

Atwood has a wonderfully subtle way of building up tension and using it to snowball the story from a simple gesture into a huge movement. The story itself is intriguing and the characters are likeable despite being flawed in numerous ways. There were one or two plot twists which I didn’t see coming and it is so refreshing to not be able to predict where a story will go.

I really enjoyed this and recommend it to anybody who likes dystopian fiction.

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164. Harry Potter & the Cursed Child

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Title: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Author: J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne

Rating: ★★★

On the Shelves: Fiction> Young Adult/ Fantasy

Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places (Goodreads 2017)

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161. Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days #1)- Susan Ee

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Title: Angelfall (Penryn & The End of Days #1)

Author: Susan Ee

Rating: ★★★

On the Shelves: Fiction> YA fiction> Post-Apocalyptic/dystopian/Fantasy

It’s been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.

Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.

Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels’ stronghold in San Francisco where she’ll risk everything to rescue her sister and he’ll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again (Goodreads 2016)

TW: this is not a very positive review- if you adore and love the series, or the author- while this isn’t particularly nasty, it isn’t exactly singing praises so you may not want to read this.

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147: Maus- Art Spiegelman

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Title: Maus (The Complete, Vol 1 & 2)

Author: Art Spiegelman

Rating: ★★★★

On the Shelves: Graphic Novels

Combined for the first time here are Maus I: A Survivor’s Tale and Maus II – the complete story of Vladek Spiegelman and his wife, living and surviving in Hitler’s Europe. By addressing the horror of the Holocaust through cartoons, the author captures the everyday reality of fear and is able to explore the guilt, relief and extraordinary sensation of survival – and how the children of survivors are in their own way affected by the trials of their parents. A contemporary classic of immeasurable significance.(Goodreads 2015)

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138. The Eyre Affair- Jasper Fforde

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Title: The Eyre Affair (#1)

Author: Jasper Fford

Rating: ★★★★

On the Shelves: Fiction> Mystery/Suspense

There is another 1985, where London’s criminal gangs have moved into the lucrative literary market, and Thursday Next is on the trail of the new crime wave’s Mr Big.

Acheron Hades has been kidnapping characters from works of fiction and holding them to ransom. Jane Eyre is gone. Missing.

Thursday sets out to find a way into the book to repair the damage. But solving crimes against literature isn’t easy when you also have to find time to halt the Crimean War, persuade the man you love to marry you, and figure out who really wrote Shakespeare’s plays.

Perhaps today just isn’t going to be Thursday’s day. Join her on a truly breathtaking adventure, and find out for yourself. Fiction will never be the same again… (Goodreads 2014)

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Monthly Round Up: November Wrap Up!

I cannot believe it is the first of December today- November flew by so quickly!

Here is my Round Up of all that I did blog-wise and book-wise in the month of November. I’d also like to apologise for my last post ( a Friday’s Fairy tales), where I forgot to put a large bulk of text under a cut! Many apologies, I normally always, always use cuts in order to save your dashes but the post was hastily put up and I must’ve forgotten-whoops!

November Wrap Up!

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Monthly Round Up: September Wrap Up!

I’m so happy it’s October! September/October is my favourite time of year- the build up to christmas, the weather going chillier, the smell of bonfires.. ahhhh~

Generally it’s been a very stressful month for me regarding jobs, I’ve been waiting to hear back from a job interview for over a month- oy vey (they are getting back to everybody, they just under appreciated how long it would take…like whoa). I’ve been super busy this week with work this week as well, so my WWW Wednesday would look exactly like last week’s unfortunately. However, because it is the end of one month and the beginning of another- here is my September Wrap Up!

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43. A Surefire Way (Ultra Security #1)- J. T Bock

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Title: A Surefire Way (Ultra Security #1)

Author: J.T Bock

Rating:

On the Shelves> Fiction> ….Crime/Mystery/Fantasy

UltraAgent Surefire’s plan is simple: Capture the transhuman thief Raven. Win back the respect of her father. Get a raise.

Easy, right?

Except Surefire just broke the number one rule of her employer, UltraSecurity, a niche security firm that solves crimes committed by genetically enhanced humans like Raven. She trailed Raven into a warehouse without backup. And something more powerful than any transhuman is waiting inside.

Raven’s plan is simple: Atone for his past crimes. Return stolen spiritual artifacts to restore the world’s balance. Don’t get caught by UltraSecurity.

Easy, right?

Until a spunky UltraSecurity agent is suddenly on his tail, although Raven wishes she was on … well, never mind … he can’t get distracted from his mission. Because she’s followed him into a warehouse filled with his reclaimed relics, and Raven’s ex-partner in crime is about to unleash a supernatural-sized complication into his plan.

His old partner has accidentally summoned an Aztec god who will destroy the world unless Raven stops this spirit with a superiority complex. To do this, Raven must team up with Surefire and reveal the truth about his powers, exposing her to a force that can either save the world or destroy them both.

Following Raven into that warehouse throws Surefire into a surreal world filled with moody gods, day-glo skulls, dizzying dimensional portals, maniacal half-roach magicians, and a sexy thief who is more than he appears under his snug t-shirt. Is Raven a criminal, or is he working for a higher power? Surefire needs to be certain, because if she joins him on this mission, she’ll have to surrender everything she believed in for a surefire way to save the world, discover her destiny and find true love. (Goodreads 2014)

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