Blog Posts

Interlude In Kosovo by Robert Hedley

Interlude In Kosovo is the second novel written by former doctor turned author, Robert Hedley. It was published in 2018 by Michael Terence Publishing.

Synopsis: ” Dr. Claire Peters flees her unfaithful husband, James, to work for The World Health Organisation in post-war Kosovo. Her husband follows, hoping for reconciliation. 
Both take lovers, she a French Captain in KFOR (Kosovo Force), part of UNMIK (United Nations Mission in Kosovo) he a beautiful Kosovar, wife of a senior member of the KLA (Kosova Liberation Army), catapulting both into a mix of Kosovo politics and criminality…” (an overview by goodreads).

Firstly, I would like to thank the author for gifting this book to me in exchange for my review!

I was immediately drawn to the title of this book as one who has essentially grown up in an environment where I was surrounded by Kosovans and Albanians, particularly during my school years, when there was a sharp increase in the number of migrant Kosovans to London in the aftermath of the war. Many of my schoolmates were Kosovan yet I knew little to nothing about the political unrest in their country and had the vaguest knowledge of a war that ravaged their land so when Robert asked me to review this book, I was very much eager to do so.

The writing in this novel is flawless; it sets the scene perfectly and the plot progresses at a comfortable speed that eases the reader into the story before the pacing suddenly picks up towards the end.

Interlude In Kosovo is the second novel written by former doctor turned author, Robert Hedley. It was published in 2018 by Michael Terence Publishing.

The story is loosely based on Hedley’s own experiences, also working for the World Health Organization in Kosovo during the post-war period, therefore there is a strong medical presence in this novel, however this didn’t detract from the book’s other core themes of political uncertainty, destitution, criminality and infidelity.

I particularly enjoyed the arc surrounding one of the ethnic Albanian characters, where the story conveyed an air of mystery and villainy, the development of which I found to be extremely multi-layered and made me sympathize with their character.

However, I was mostly underwhelmed by the development of the main characters; Claire and James, particularly the latter, not because of his lack of his restraint, or the fact that women seem to want to take their clothes off when there’re around him, but because of the bad decisions he constantly makes throughout the novel which made it difficult for me to empathize with his character.

I also wasn’t keen on the ending which felt a bit too sudden and rushed. The pacing of the novel picked up towards the end which I loved as it built suspense but it also meant that some of the mystery was handled with only cursory detail and therefore left underdeveloped. I was overall satisfied with how it ended but not so much on its execution.

Interlude In Kosovo was nonetheless an extremely enjoyable and insightful read that I would easily recommend. I would definitely read this book again purely for the enjoyment value and not as a critic as I love the story-telling and the light it sheds on the history and culture of Kosovo as well as the cataclysmic effects of oppression at the hands of a Serbian dictator.

⭐️⭐️⭐️

Fore more reviews like this, >>>click here<<< ( ノ^.^)ノ゚

Booktube Review: Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

Hey Bookworms!

Today I posted my book review of Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare to my Booktube channel. See below to watch it!

Lady Midnight is the first book in The Dark Artifices trilogy and was published in 2016 in the U.K. by Simon&Schuster. This book was gifted to me by LoveReading UK and Simon&Schuster as part of the LoveReading Ambassador Book Buzz. I’ll be posting my official review of this book very soon but for now I hope you enjoy the video!

Don’t forget to subscribe before you leave 😉

Thanks for watching! Have you read The Dark Artifices series? What are your thoughts? Please share with me in the comments. For more book reviews, click here.

MANGA Review: Orange by Ichigo Takano

  • Written by: Ichigo Takano
  • Illustrated by: Ichigo Takano
  • First published: 2013
  • Volumes: 6
  • Genre(s): Romance, Slice-of-life, Shoujo
  • My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️

Naho Takamiya, a seventeen-year-old high school
student receives a letter from herself, dated ten years in the future. At
first, Naho is reluctant to take the advice from her future self concerning her
love interest and fellow classmate, Kakeru Naruse, until the letter begins to
accurately predict future events. Naho then decides to follow the letter’s
instructions, which her future self hopes will change the devastating events
that have left her with feelings of loss and regret.

Orange has a distinctive concept and is as sweet
and charming as a dusting of icing sugar. It portrays a typical romance with an
imaginative twist and extremely likeable characters.

Hey Bookworms! Thank for reading this review. To read more manga reviews like this, please click here! But before you go, tell me in the comments if you read manga and if so, what’s the last manga you read?

Why I use Ratings in my Book Reviews

Hey Bookworms! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I’ve noticed that there has been tons of discussion about this topic in the book community so I thought I’d share with you why I personally like to used a star-based system in my book reviews. Please share your thoughts and let me know do you use ratings in your reviews? Don’t forget to subscribe to my Booktube channel before you leave, it would help me out loads! ❤

Hope you have a great weekend! 🌻

Booktube Review: Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata

Konbanwa Bookworms!

こんばんは – – – !!

I’m feeling inspired to utilize my tourist level Japanese today which has been driving the other half mad all day because I just posted my booktube review of Sayaka Murata’s Convenience Store Woman. See below to view it .. Have you read this book yet? What are your thoughts? Please let me know in the comments and don’t forget to subscribe to my Youtube channel where more reviews will be posted soon!

I finally fixed the sound! always a good sign 🙂

Until my next review, またね – – – ❤

My Video Review Of Ivy Pochoda’s Wonder Valley

Hey Bookworms!

Today, I’d thought it would be fun to try doing a video review and as such I finally posted my very first Youtube video to my channel @loiscudjoe. I hope you enjoy it and as always, please look out for my next review which will be posted tomorrow and check out the Book Reviews page for more amazing reviews!

Thanks for watching! Don’t forget to share your comments below and tell me have you read this book or what you’re currently reading at the moment.

Until next time!

x

Lochanreads Bookish News Picks

Today I’d like to do something a little different and share with you some of the most interesting articles I’ve read this week in the world of books and publishing. Here are my 3 picks for bookish news stories this week.

  1. Molly Case, the NHS nurse who finds poetry on the wards
Molly Case

Molly Case, a cardiac nurse (pictured left) uses poetry as a means of enlightening people as to the N.H.S crisis in the U.K. Her poem, ‘Nursing The Nation’ is a deeply stirring, accessible rebuttal against the unfairly negative press about those in the medical profession.

2. ‘It’s a silent conversation’: authors and translators on their unique relationship

English language translator Flora Drew with Chinese author Ma Jian.

This interesting story gives a deeper appreciation not just of language, with the weight of nuance and culture behind it, but also the deep familiarity that makes book translations possible. This familiarity is perfectly exemplified through Chinese novelist, Ma Jian (pictured left), known for works such as ‘China Dream’. His translator, Flora Drew (also pictured left) is also his wife and therefore shares a level of intimacy with him that allows her to ‘become him’ in her translations.

3. Chinese writer Tianyi jailed for 10 years over gay erotic novel

The Chinese Supreme People’s Court, where a ruling used to convict the author was passed in 1998

A female Chinese writer, under the alias Tianyi is sentenced to 10 years in prison for writing a novel featuring homo-erotic scenes between two males. The novel is said to go against strict pornography laws. This overly harsh indictment is a stark reminder of the ever present homophobia that is sadly still widespread today.

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Thank you reading! Please feel free to comment down below about any of the articles featured in the post. I look forward to sharing more news related posts with you soon but for now, why not check out some of my latest reviews? Click here to read more! 📚

New Book Review: The Tattooist Of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

A new review is up on the Book Reviews page! Here’s a excerpt;

During his captivity, Lale unwittingly becomes the ‘Tätowierer’ of
Auschwitz-Birkenau, responsible for inking his fellow inmates with their prison numbers. It was not long after his appointment to this pain-inflicting occupation that he met the woman of his dreams, a fellow Slovakian named Gita. A beautiful romance ensues with his beloved, giving them both hope that they will survive their plight and a share a future together.

This book is truly unputdownable. I was hooked from the very outset and deeply moved not just from the horrors that occurred but also from Lale’s arresting romanticism and determination….



The Ghost Tree by Barbara Erskine

This review is brought to you courtesy of the LoveReading UK ambassador book buzz. Thank you to HarperCollins Publishers for sending me a copy of this book! 🙂

The Ghost Tree by Barbara Erskine is an insidious tale about the newly divorced Ruth Dunbar, who begins to uncover enchanting secrets about herself and her ancestors, through the recent death of her estranged father. As she plunges deeper into the history of her family tree against the backdrop of a scam threatening to undermine her father’s last wishes, Ruth stumbles upon an unsettling mystery about her past that will make her question everything she believes.

Erskine captivates in this novel, with story-telling that pulls the reader into her world. This is especially true when describing Ruth’s frequent retreats to the river of the Old Mill House and Thomas’ exploits in the castle ruins of St. Andrews, where I could picture myself in the scene and almost smell the salt of the sea.

Frequent time shifts occur, as the story changes from the perspective of Thomas’ archaic past to Ruth’s modern present, and there is a shift in language to reflect these time jumps however, at times, these shifts have a suddenness that makes particularly Thomas’ narrative feel less antiquated and more contemporary.

Despite the various plot lines, Erskine creates some well-developed characters whose motivations we empathize with, though not wholly agree with, as in the case with April and Timothy. I enjoyed reading the gradual unfolding of the story and seeing how the different arcs converged into a satisfying ending.

The Ghost Tree is an immersing novel with a dynamic plot that maintains momentum and holds the reader’s intrigue throughout. I especially loved the descriptive story-telling and the darker themes which gave the novel a chilling yet alluring quality. This novel was a lot of fun to read and really easy to get into. All in all, I award The Ghost Tree.. ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

Thanks for reading! For more book reviews like this one, please visit the Book Reviews page.

LoveReading UK featured my review!

Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored

Hey Bookworms!

I’ve got some exciting news! But before I divulge, please leave me a comment telling me what you’re currently reading at the moment and whether it’s the type of genre or book you would normally read.

On to my news, I’m extremely excited to have been selected as an ambassador for LoveReading UK, the UK’s leading book recommendation website. They are a fantastic resource into finding a wealth of reading suggestions and editorial reviews. If you would like to check out their website, please click here to find out more.

I was asked by LoveReading UK to write a review for their website which I was absolutely thrilled about and I would love for you to read it. The book I reviewed was a deeply symbolic collection of poems called, Braid: Poems And Thoughts by Pierre Sotér. Here is a short excerpt;

“…The nature symbolism bears its presence in many of Sotér’s poems, including Symmmetric Blue, Waves & Tides; a poem that artistically renders the waves of the sea galloping like a horse and Silver Drops where mere rain is compared to silver, in such a way that exposes our shallow nature as humans.”

To read the full review please click here!


“Read this world of ours, but do it right,
And then, with human words, let’s try to write.”

Vote For My Next Classic Read Of The Month!

Hey Bookworms,

Every month I’ll be reading a classic to add to my collection of reviews. Please help me choose which one I should read next by taking the survey below! And before you go, tell me in the comments: What was the last classic book you read and what did you think? Thank you in anticipation of your votes and Happy Reading! 📚


“There is a stubbornness about me that never can bear to be frightened at the will of others. My courage always rises at every attempt to intimidate me.” Pride And Prejudice by Jane Austen

My 2018 In Books – Please Vote!

Last year was a year like any other. Full of highs and rife with lows. I experienced my fair share of both in equal measure despite how generic that sounds. Among other things, I’m so glad that I finally started this blog after years of procrastination and self-doubt. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still trying to figure this stuff out as sometimes I really feel so out of my depth. Nevertheless, its thanks to this little blog of mine that I have been able to read 50 books this year which I am extremely thrilled about!

c But those books which stood above the rest and affected me the most are those which I am going to share with you today. Here are my Top 5 books of 2018!

꧂ღ╭⊱♥≺

Silent Companions by Laura Purcell “…This insidiously gothic horror story which I’ve been gushing over on various social media platforms, gripped me from the outset to the ingeniously sinister end.” ⭐⭐⭐⭐

This Is Going To Hurt by Adam Kay “… This book is without doubt unquestionably funny. Even at times when it shouldn’t be, the occasional tone of cynicism turns an otherwise dire situation into a witty anecdote.”⭐⭐⭐⭐

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini “… the writing style is flawless with imagery that is both scenic and vibrant. I loved reading his descriptions of Herat when Mariam first ventured there.” ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Wonder Valley by Ivy Pochoda “… the writing is atmospheric, placing you in the scene so vividly as though you were running alongside Tony on his morning jog, or walking alongside Sam and Blake in the oppressive heat of the desert.”⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata “… the way it injected an almost unopened newness into the banality of being a store worker through Keiko’s unusual perspective was perfection.” ⭐⭐⭐⭐


These were utterly brilliant books which I greatly enjoyed reading. They lingered on in my thoughts well after I had finished reading them. They opened my eyes in some way and changed my outlook and I can’t wait to read each one of them again. Please click on the titles above to read my reviews! If you’ve read any of these books, please tell me your thoughts about it in the comments 🙂 📚

⬇️ Now I want to hear from you fellow readers!


⬇️ Vote for your fave book of 2018 here!

Thank you so much for your support in 2018 and for your feedback! Have a fantastic 2019 you bibliophiles! And to keep updated with my upcoming reviews, please visit the Book Reviews page 🙂

Xx.

What’s Your Hogwarts House?

Hello Readers!

I hope you’re having a wonderful week whatever you’re doing, or reading! I’ve finally decided to start reading what is without doubt one of the most famous and widely sold books of all time. And no it’s not Quotations from the Works of Mao Tse-tung…

harry potter audio book

I first read Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone when I was in primary school, but that was also the time when my Harry Potter journey unfortunately ended. Instead my childhood was defined by such children’s novels as A Series Of Unfortunate Events and anything written by Jacqueline Wilson. So when I finally signed up for a free trial with Audible, I thought I’d mark the novelty of never having listened to an audio book before with a book I’ve essentially never read before. And what better than with an epic fantasy filled with magic and adventure!

Now it’s over to you fellow readers. Have you ever listened to an audio book before? Which one was it and what did you think? And tell me what your Hogwarts House is and why?

***

If you’re an audio book novice like me and you want to experience a new way of ‘reading’ try an Audible free trial for 30 days by visiting the link below! ⬇️ ⬇️

📚 https://amzn.to/2OyLfSa 📚

Happy reading Bibliophiles!

 

Booktube Review! VOX by Christina Dalcher

·٠•●♥ Hey Bookworms!♥●•٠·˙

I hope you’re enjoying whatever you’re reading this weekend. Feel free to share also, I could always use more recommendations. 😉

I recently posted my latest Booktube Review on VOX by Christina Dalcher, my current Book Of The Month! See below to view it and also if you’re feeling especially charitable today, then please subscribe to my channel for more booktube reviews.

VOX is the debut novel by novelist and flash fiction writer, Christina Dalcher whose work has appeared in several pretigious magazines, including The Molotov Cocktail. 

Here’s an excerpt from my review;

Needless to say, the representation of men in this novel is one of villainous antagonism. Though I was intrigued by the premise, I found the overall concept of this story to be very anti-male. However, I loved how the plot developed and how events progressed quite quickly, thereby grabbing my attention early on in the story and maintaining momentum until the end…”

Click here to read the full review! 🙂

New Book Review!! Lord Of Shadows by Cassandra Clare

Hey Shadowhunters!

Today I will be doing a book review of; Lord Of Shadows by Cassandra Clare. This review is brought to you courtesy of LoveReading UK, the largest book recommendations website in the U.K! Make sure you check out their website at www.lovereading.co.uk for more information on the LoveReading UK Ambassador book buzz, where you can also read other reviews on the epic Dark Artifices series.

Synopsis: Lord Of Shadows is the second book in The Dark Artifices series and was originally published in 2017. It continues the journey of the fearless shadowhunters, Emma Carstairs and Julian Blackthorn as with the rest of the L.A. institute, as they contend with a new threat. That of a faerie King with plans to unite the Seelie and Unseelie courts under his tyrannical reign, through means detrimental to Nephilim. With this threat looming overhead, the already strained relationship between Nephilim and Downworlders continues to breed devisive tension.

Clare maintains the escapist story-telling I was gushing over in my last review. The book’s magical quality, particularly in its portrayals of Faerie, appeal to the reader’s imagination, with its sense of novelty. Unlike Lady Midnight, this novel explores the land of Faerie in greater depth, propelling us deeper into a world of enchantment.

Lord Of Shadows is a novel that sets itself apart from most other fantasy books in its representation of different sexual orientations. I really appreciated the inclusion of such diverse characterisation, as it reflects a truer picture of modern day Western societies and therefore made the novel more current and relatable than many fantasy novels around today.

To read the full review, please click here.

New Book Review: Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare



Hey Bibliophiles!

I’m super excited to present today’s book review, which is brought to you in association with LoveReading UK, the largest book recommendations website in the U.K. Make sure you check them out at; www.lovereading.co.uk

Also a BIG thank you to the publishers, Simon&Schuster for sending this book to me!

Lady Midnight is the first book in The Dark Artifices trilogy which was published in 2016.

Synopsis: Lady Midnight is an epic fantasy novel that follows the story of Emma and Julian who are highly trained, demon-slaying Shadowhunters. As parabatai, they also share a magical bond, which amplifies their angelic powers in battle. But to be parabatai means to be bound to one another for life, forbidden from falling in love with one another.

When a series of mysterious murders occur across L.A. Emma and Julian, together with Julian’s family investigate these strange events that all linked and rooted in dark magic. Even if it means risking their lives, they are determined to solve this mystery as it leads them to the answers behind their tragic past.

Lady Midnight is the first book in The Dark Artifices trilogy which was published in 2016. If you’ve read Clare’s previous Shadowhunter books, most notably The Mortal Instruments Series, which was also adapted for film, you’ll love reading this book. Clare creates an immersive, supernatural world that is a boon of escapism.

Click here to read the full review!

New Book Review: VOX by Christina Dalcher



VOX is the debut novel by novelist and flash fiction writer, Christina Dalcher whose work has appeared in several pretigious magazines, including The Molotov Cocktail. VOX was originally published in 2018 by HQ, a HarperCollinsPublishers subsidiary.

Synopsis: Set in a dystopian reality in modern-day America, a fanatical government has stripped all women of basic rights, including their speech, which is now limited to only 100 words per day. As well as being stripped of their jobs, they have also been forced to wear wrist counters set to shock them into submission with a thousand volts if they overstep their 100-word limit.

The story follows our heroine Dr Jean McClellan as she fights against this corrupt system, above all else for her daughter Sonia, who has known nothing but the Pure Movement.

This novel has a very strong feminist rhetoric that almost seems like a look into the imaginings of a misogynistic Republican, vying to make America great again by stripping women of words and rights and forcing them to become domesticated housewives, only fit for cooking and child-bearing.

The overt feminist tone is further compounded by such characters as Jackie Juarez, a former college friend of Jean. Jackie is the complete antithesis of the ‘traditionalist woman,’ in the way she campaigns for women’s rights and her daring fashion sense, which acts as a further affront to patriarchal ideals.

Read the full review here!