My Book Review of quirky love story THE RULES OF SEEING by Joe Heap @Joe_Heap_

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THE RULES OF SEEING by Joe Heap

Goodreads Description

The Rules of Seeing follows the lives of two women whose paths cross at a time when they need each other most. Nova, an interpreter for the Metropolitan police, has been blind from birth. When she undergoes surgery to restore her sight her journey is just beginning – she now has to face a world in full colour for the first time. Kate, a successful architect and wife to Tony, is in hospital after a blow to the head. There, she meets Nova and what starts as a beautiful friendship soon turns into something more.

My Review 

“What you see depends on what you’re looking for”

I’m finding it hard to categorise THE RULES OF SEEING by debut UK author Joe Heap. It’s part quirky love story between two women with a lot going on in their lives, part thriller, and 100% a great read.

Nova works as a police interpreter, can speak five languages and has been blind her entire life until her brother convinces her to undergo and operation that will help her see the world for the first time.

While she is recovering from her operation she meets Kate who is an architect married to Tony, a police detective that Nova works with occasionally. Nova and Kate’s friendship could develop into something more if it was up to Nova, but they each have their own issues to deal with, including Nova’s difficulties with learning how to see and Kate and Tony’s relationship issues.

THE RULES OF SEEING is a fantastic debut novel and Joe Heap has done a brilliant job of covering a range of sensitive topics, including female romantic relationships, mental health, abuse, and  disability. A great debut and full of unexpected surprises. 4 stars!

 

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Joe Heap: author of THE RULES OF SEEING

 

Joe Heap was born in 1986 to a biology teacher and a drama teacher, and grew up in a house that was 70% books, 25% bags of unmarked homework, 18% underpants drying on radiators, and 3% scattered Lego bricks.

He is very bad at maths.

In 2004 Joe won the Foyle Young Poet award, and his poetry has been published in several periodicals. He studied for a BA in English Literature at Stirling University and a Masters in Creative Writing at Glasgow University, during which time he ate a deep-fried Mars Bar. It was okay.

Joe is now a full-time writer, but previously worked as an editor of books for kids and young adults. He has also been a subtitler for BBC News, a face painter at a safari park and a removal man for a dental convention. Before smartphones were invented, he manned a text service where people could ‘ask any question’, but he has since forgotten most of the answers.

He lives in London with his long-suffering girlfriend, short-suffering son, and much-aggrieved tabby cat.

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Are you a Book Snob?

Book_of_Snobs-Première_de_couvertureBeing a Scatterbooker, I’m definitely not a book snob in the slightest.  Sometimes I like to read ‘real’ books, sometimes I use a kindle, sometimes I’ll read a classic, sometimes I’ll read something ‘trashy.’ I don’t have any particular genre that I will only read at the exclusion of all others, but there are a few genres that I enjoy more than others. I also would never dare to criticise anybody for which books they choose to read or which format they read it in and why on earth would I even care?

I think the biggest problem with book snobs is that they seem to enjoy going out of their way to let other people know that their way is far superior and anybody who doesn’t do things the way that they think they should be done is wrong. Thackeray wrote a hilarious set of articles titled The Book of Snobs back 1848 which wittily describes all sorts of the different kinds of snobs that existed in the 1800’s so it seems that snobbery has been around for quite a while. And people have been quietly (or not so quietly) making fun of them for just as long! So I think it’s  time  for all of the book snobs (and the rest) to lighten up and not worry so much about what or how other people read.

Types of Book Snobs:

The ‘I never read e-books’ book snob: This kind of book snob thinks that the Internet is the devil and e-books are out to destroy the publishing industry and all books along with it. It’s strange how often this opinion gets voiced via the  evil Internet, usually with an iPhone. In reality, the Internet is a tool for communication, although definitely the best one invented so far. The publishing world has survived many technological changes and books will always continue to be made. If you prefer to read real books, that’s great, I quite like them too, but I’m not out to destroy the publishing world by reading e-books sometimes too.

The ‘I only read literary fiction/classics’ book snob: Fantastic! I read literary fiction/classics as well sometimes. I also really enjoy discovering new and self published authors whose books may become classics in 50 years or so. I do wonder why you need somebody else to tell you that a book is good, why not make your own decisions about what you do or do not like?

The ‘I only read a specific genre absolutely nothing else’ book snob: This seems strange to a Scatterbooker like me, but ok then. Don’t these people get bored of reading the same genre all the time though?

The ‘Twilight/50 Shades of Grey/Harry Potter ect are awful and I will go out of my way to read them just so I can tell everyone how bad they are’ book snob: If you are book snob why would you even read a book that you have already decided is awful? I’ve even seen reviewers live tweet their adverse reactions to books like this. For the record, I quite liked Twilight, love Harry Potter but I just couldn’t get into 50 Shades at all. It doesn’t really bother me that it’s successful. I just stopped reading once I realised it wasn’t my cup of tea and I don’t feel a need to go and tell people off if they say they enjoyed it.

The ‘the book is always better than the movie’ book snob: I tend to agree with this most of the time, and I do much prefer to read the book before I see the movie, but there are exceptions. The Princess Bride is one that stands out for me. I’m not sure if I’ve even read that book and I don’t really want to because the movie was amazing! I also started watching Game of Thrones and then tried to read the books but I just couldn’t get into them, so I’ll stick with the series for now and perhaps give the books another try in a few years when it isn’t so fresh in my mind.

The ‘I keep my books in pristine condition and will cut you if I lend you a book and you return it dog eared or with food crumbs’ book snob: These kind of book snobs obviously have control issues. I can imagine them sitting up super straight and taking forever to turn the page because they are worried about creasing it ever so slightly. And definitely no food while reading which kind of takes half the fun of reading away I think. I’m just happy to have my books returned to me, never mind if there are a few creases or crumbs here and there. I like my books to look like they’ve been enjoyed, I think it adds to their character.

The ‘at least they’re reading something I guess’ book snob: This kind of book snob is my very least favourite. It’s so condescending and implies that anybody who doesn’t read fiction is dumb which is extremely untrue and the worst form of snobbery there is. My partner, for example, never reads fiction but he is far from stupid. He’s an IT geek and most of his friends and work colleagues would agree that he is the smartest person they know by far. He just has a highly technical mind, so doesn’t get into reading for fun.

What kinds of book snobs have you come across? Or are you a book snob yourself?

Book Review: Daughter by Jane Shemilt

Title: Daughter  daughter

Author: Jane Shemilt

ISBN: 9781405916516

Published: Published August 28th 2014 by Penguin

Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller

Pages: 392

Source: I received my copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

My Rating: 3/5 stars

Description:

Jenny is a successful family doctor, the mother of three great teenagers, married to a celebrated neurosurgeon.

But when her youngest child, fifteen-year-old Naomi, doesn’t come home after her school play, Jenny’s seemingly ideal life begins to crumble. The authorities launch a nationwide search with no success. Naomi has vanished, and her family is broken.

As the months pass, the worst-case scenarios—kidnapping, murder—seem less plausible. The trail has gone cold. Yet for a desperate Jenny, the search has barely begun. More than a year after her daughter’s disappearance, she’s still digging for answers—and what she finds disturbs her. Everyone she’s trusted, everyone she thought she knew, has been keeping secrets, especially Naomi. Piecing together the traces her daughter left behind, Jenny discovers a very different Naomi from the girl she thought she’d raised.

My Thoughts:

Jenny Malcolm thinks she has the perfect life until the day that her beloved fifteen year old daughter, Naomi, goes missing. Jenny has the perfect career as a GP, a perfect neurologist husband and three perfect children and prides herself on managing it all without any dramas. Then one evening Naomi heads off to perform in her school play, never to return again. During the course of the year long investigation to find Naomi, Jenny’s entire perfect life begins to unravel before her very eyes and she discovers that she doesn’t know any of her family members quite as well as she thought she did.

While I thought Jane Shemilt’s writing was superb, particularly for a debut author, I found Daughter to be a little bit slow in parts for my liking. It went between the time when Naomi went missing and 12 months after and I found the chapters set 12 months after were perhaps a little bit drawn out. I would have enjoyed hearing from some of the other character’s point of view as well, I think it would have added to the story to hear from them.

I thought Jenny was a difficult character to sympathise with, despite the fact that she went through such an awful time. She seemed so disinterested in her children and husband throughout the entire novel, almost as though she just wanted them to be the perfect accessories for her perfect life. I’m not saying that women can’t have great careers as well as children or that teenagers should have absolutely no secrets from their parents, but you do need to make the most of the time that you do get to spend with them and perhaps answer your children’s phone calls occasionally.

The twists and turns of Daughter definitely kept me guessing. Everybody in the Malcolm family had their own secrets which were gradually revealed throughout the course of the novel. I’m not too sure how I feel about the ending, but I certainly didn’t see it coming.

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Goodreads

My Favourite Books

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I have recently signed up an account over at Goodreads which is an awesome social media network for all book lovers. Get yourself over there if you haven’t already! One of the first things I needed to do was let them know my favourite books so that they could automatically generate recommendations for me based on those. Well that’s a tough question for a Scatterbooker like me,  but I have managed to come up with a short but definitely not comprehensive list.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll,

The Power of One by Bryce Courtney,

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee,

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald,

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen,

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë ,

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger,

Bridget Jone’s Diary by Helen Fielding,

The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory,

The Pact by Jodi Picoult,

The Kay Scarpetta Series by Patricia Cornwell,

1984 by George Orwell

It by Stephen King.

Over at Goodreads I have also joined the Aussie Readers group. It is full of very friendly Australian readers who have some brilliant book suggestions and they run seasonal reading challenges that everyone can join in with. I definitely recommend that any Australian readers head over and say hello to the lovely people over there.

I have decided to take part in the Aussie Readers December Challenge which is to read as many Christmas or New Year themed books as possible during December. So far I have decided to read:

The Perfect Christmas by Kate Forster

Yours for Christmas by Susan Mallery

Come Home for Christmas, Cowboy by Megan Crane

Also on my current reading list are:

Gray Mountain by John Grisham

I am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes

Explicit Detail by Scarlett Finn

I will also need to be offline for around two weeks starting from Tuesday 25th of November. I have created Scatterbooker as part of an assignment for one of my university subjects at Curtin University. So that means that while the assignment is being marked I won’t be able to make changes to https://scatterbooker.wordpress.com/ or any of my social media accounts. I’m going to miss all of you so much while I am offline, but I will use the time away to work on getting some of these book reviews ready to post as soon as my assignment is graded. While I am in exile you can still contact me at scatterbooker@gmail. I would love to hear about your favourite books or any Christmas/New Year themed books that you love.

 

Image adapted from an image that was uploaded by FutUndBeidl (2012) which was sourced via Flickr and I’m am sharing under the Creative Commons License. Visit here to view the original image.

What is a Scatterbooker?

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A Scatterbooker reads books from far and wide, on any subject and from any genre. A Scatterbooker can never choose just one favourite book, author or even genre. If you ask them, they will probably give you a list of thousands. A Scatterbooker will usually have at least one or two books that they are currently reading at any given time and a ‘to read’ list a mile long. A Scatterbooker is well read on a wide variety of subjects which makes them exceptional conversationalists. They are up to date on current events and trends and are always the best people to ask “have you read any good books lately?”

If you are a Scatterbooker like me you might find some good books to read over at Scatterbooker on Goodreads.

Image adapted from an image that was uploaded by FutUndBeidl (2012) which was sourced via Flickr and I’m am sharing under the Creative Commons License. Visit here to view the original image.