Review: 'Waking' by Debut Author Helen Richardson - 'clever, mind-spinning and intruiging'

Curve-ball after curve-ball, Helen Richardson's debut novel 'Waking' is a clever, mind-spinning and deeply intriguing story. From the witty observations, to the amusing dialogue throughout, this book seriously surpassed all expectations.

The story is centred around a girl named Anna Caldwell who has just moved down to London, as she has landed a job as a assistant curator at the Whitechapel Gallery. There is a lot to Anna's character, more than she realises herself. She is clever, witty, beautiful; it's just a shame she is haunted by her own nightmares.

For almost 15 years, Anna has been afraid to go to sleep at night. She has been plagued with the same disturbing and mysterious visions of death, and overwhelming grief. Even when she tries to desperately break the cycle, the darkness of her mind grips that little bit tighter. 

Then she meets Jack. She knows him, but she can’t quite figure out from where. There is an instant connection, and at first they both put this down to intimacy, but they were mistaken. They both share the same dark past, but they don’t know it yet.

The relationship between Anna and Jack is enviable. Imagine that one relationship in your life where you were completely and totally in sync with your partner. That is Anna and Jack, seemingly perfect, but the cracks of a tragic past seep through as the story unfolds.

One thing I love about this book is that Richardson has managed to make it so believable, in such an unbelievable and surreal situation. When reading I felt like a lot of Richardson’s own experiences went into the story, especially when reading the humorous and intelligent exchanges between Anna and her flat mates. 

I would have loved the ending to be more finalised, but it still worked brilliantly as it did, it was left to the reader’s imagination. I was just disappointed that I couldn’t stay with the characters for longer! Considering this was Richardson’s debut novel, her character devolopment is superb. 

So, if you are looking for a book that will keep you on your toes and leave you wanting more, Waking is for you. Every time I thought I knew where the plot was heading, Richardson pulled me back and put me in my place! 

Review: 'Greyhounds' play at The Kings Arms in Salford, Manchester - 'witty, intelligent and thought-provoking'

Picture the scene: a box room at the top of a chic Northern pub, 25 fold down chairs, mysterious and uniquely crafted props dotted around the room, 'Big Band' style wartime music teasing the senses and five incredibly talented actors. Yes, this review is going to be a rave.

#JaneAusten200: New £10 note dedicated to Jane Austen unveiled

Photo credit: The Guardian

At long last, The Bank of England have unveiled the new £10 which features Jane Austen, and it is perfect.

Instragram: Do your followers read your captions?

I recently did a Twitter poll to find out whether your followers on Instagram really do read your captions. The results were interesting.

A review: 'Confetti Confessions', a collection of micro-poems by Holly Ducarte

I haven't even started this review yet, and I already know I am not going to do justice to this book. Confetti Confessions, which is a anthology of micro poetry, is a beautifully written and relatable body of work by the talented Holly Ducarte. And a book that you must read immediately. 

I'm a slow reader - get over it // The Reader's Review

Right, I obviously love reading. I love books. I just love paper in general (seriously you should see how many empty notebooks I've got and my ever mounting TBR pile).

Q&A with Beverley Lee, author of YA supernatural novel, The Making of Gabriel Davenport

The muse runs in our blood and won't be silenced.

First, she released a hidden and ancient darkness which changed the life of Gabriel Davenport forever. Now, author Beverley Lee is back with her sequel, A Shining in the Shadows, to scare us all one more time. Here she gives us a sneaky peak behind the creative curtain, and an insight into her characters and blossoming career.

Q&A with Joseph T. Pickett, debut author of Becoming the Conqueror

Writing is like walking through fog towards a home: at first, you see only mist. Take a few steps forward and a vague outline emerges.

Already setting a strong precedent with his debut novel Becoming the Conqueror, Joseph T. Pickett looks set to make his mark on the historical fiction world. Now, with book two on the way, Pickett gives us an insight into his journey towards becoming an  author, and why he chose the legend, William the Conqueror.

4 Tips to Beat the Instagram Algorithm // The Reader's Review

I think we can all agree that the latest Instagram algorithm causes anger and confusion wherever it strikes. And despite an outpour of complaints from it's users, Instagram seems pretty insistent on keeping it the way it is. At least for now.

Top 5 Most Intimidating Books I'm Determined to Read Before I Die

We all have those books that we want to read, but have been at the back of the bookshelf for some time, right? For me, these are the monstrous, judgemental and downright intimidating reads that take a lifetime (or at least for slow readers like me) to finish.

Review // Becoming The Conqueror, debut novel by Joseph T. Pickett

It seems like an impossible task to encapsulate, and give true relevance, to the life of a great historical figure - especially one such as William the Conqueror. However, Joseph T. Pickett does just this, with grace and authority, in his debut novel, Becoming The Conqueror.

One year bookstaversary: Here are some of my favourite moments

That's right, it's been a whole year since I started my bookstagram journey. I've not only found new depth and passion for reading, but I have been inspired to embark on my own creative journey. Here are just some of my highlights from the year.

Climbing Mountains: The inspirational memoirs of Sarabjit Parmar

If I had to use one word, it would be inspirational. Never before have I felt so completely consumed by someone's day-to-day experiences. Sarabjits' story is one that everyone should read. It's real, it's important and it's inspiring.

Sacrifice and success: The journey of The Suffragettes continues

Once they are aroused, once they are determined, nothing on earth and nothing in heaven will make women give way; it is impossible. - Emmeline Pankhurst

Frequently asked questions about being a #bookstagrammer

Most people with an Instagram account like to take photos of their food, their kids, the perfect selfie, gym equipment (because your trip to the gym didn't happen unless there is IG evidence) and basically everything to do with life. Bookstagram is the same, except for us bookworms, books are pretty much 100% of our lives.