Recent Reads : Net Galley Edition #1


I recently joined the dark side of the book world : Net Galley! If you're unaware, Net Galley is a website where content creators can sign up to get advanced reading copies of books. They very recently started doing audiobooks, which really peaked my interest as I don't own a Kindle so ebooks can be a faff to read. After signing up, you can browsing the titles and requesting things! If you get accepted, you can immediately start reading (or listening) and review. Net Galley is one hell of a rabbit hole, before thinking it through I had requested dozens of ARC's not thinking I would receive any. Low and behold, a few days later I had a daunting 'virtual' shelf. I was debating whether or not to include the books I read from there on my usual Recent Reads posts, but I know not everybody is interested in reading about books that haven't yet been released. So, let's start another book series. Here are all the ARC's I've recently read.

Dear Girl
by Aija Mayrock
This poetry collection packs such a severe punch. Touching and memorable, Aija Mayrock successfully manages to write about such an array of struggles we women face in so few poems. As with every collection of writing, there will be some sections that resonate more with certain readers. I definitely felt that. Yet, rather than making it fall short for me in a rating sense, it made me want to give it a reread to educate myself on the problems that women who aren't in my position face. This is a collective look at a gender that is often pitted against one another, and yet somehow wraps itself up in a 'we should all be in this together' bow. Beautifully done.

Format: Audiobook
Release Date: April 7th, 2020 (no idea why this was still on NetGalley, but okay.)
Goodreads: Dear Girl

Everything Here Is Under Control
by Emily Adrian 
Amanda is a first-time mum and she's struggling. Feeling like she has no support from her boyfriend, she gets into the car one night and turns up on the doorstep of her estranged friend Carrie. As teens, the two women were inseparable. But after Carrie had a child while in school, the relationship between her and Amanda fizzled into the awkwardness that is now an unspoken thing between them.

I enjoyed this book, I did, but I felt like the main selling point and focus of the story is the almost brutal way that Emily Adrian wrote about having a newborn. As someone who has no children, I don't feel comfortable recommending it for that aspect as I have no way of knowing whether it was well done or not. I don't feel like I've ever read about motherhood in such a raw sense before, but again, I'm not able to guarantee that this is what it's like.

What I liked about this book was the writing. It flowed beautifully and I think the author did a great job at intertwining scenes from the past and present day without it ever feeling clunky. The cover is also beautiful. My main issue with it was that I never fully bought Carrie and Amanda as close, and I think that's partly why this book was just 'okay' for me. Even when we read about them as teenagers, I grew frustrated at the lack of chemistry. There's also a 'twist' near the end of the book that I felt was unnecessary. It seemed like a very convenient way of explaining why the two lost touch. To summarize, this book was just okay. It was a decent enough reading experience, but I will very likely forget I even read this come 2021. I would read more by the author as I had no problems with the writing, pacing, and overall feel of the book. The story just lacked for me because of the characters.

Format: Audiobook
Release Date: July 28th, 2020

Night Swim
by Megan Goldin 
This was a whirlwind of a thriller. Firstly, I'd argue that this was much more of a suspenseful courtroom novel rather than what we've come to know as a traditional 'thriller'. It had some mystery elements but was by no means something that keeps you on the edge of your seat. But it was very entertaining and kept my brain turning. 

Rachel, a true crime podcast host is trying to switch things up for the new season of her show, so she ventures off to a small town to cover a controversial rape case that is underway. But after she gets to the town, she begins to receive peculiar letters from a girl named Hannah who is hoping that Rachel will help her unravel the death of her sister. The case itself was eerily similar to the Brock Turner case that Chanel Miller wrote about in her memoir 'Know My Name'. That left this book feeling a little.. icky. I think the author was heavily influenced by the true story, yet I can't find a similar comment by the author saying anything about this. Maybe it was just one very odd coincidence. I don't know.

Overall, I liked this book but wouldn't read it again. The audiobook was great though, I really liked the narrator. 

Format: Audiobook
Release Date: August 4th, 2020
Goodreads: The Night Swim

Coffee Days Whiskey Nights
by Cyrus Parker
This was a truly astonishing collection of modern poetry. 

I'm not non-binary, but I have struggled with mental and physical health from a young age, so the soul shattering bluntness of the first half of this book was both a blessing and yet hard to read. I felt like the author was writing my darkest thoughts. And yet I turned the last page of this with a smile on my crying face. Why? Because the author managed to seamlessly turn this collection into a spark of hope. It was truly beautiful. 

I'd also like to quickly give a shoutout to the amazing color play between the 'good' poems and the 'bad' ones. It created an atmosphere for the words, especially as I read this as an ebook.

Again, incredible. Read this.

Format: ebook
Release Date: September 8th, 2020

by Sarah Anderson
Well, this was bloody adorable! (Heh.. heh.. pun intended) I wasn't overly familiar to this artist prior to being urged to read it by my husband. I'm a huge vampire fan, Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a lifestyle, and this graphic novel was the perfect amount of cheesy nostalgia with modern jokes.

Firstly, the artwork was incredibly cute. I had to fight the urge to screenshot so many funny sections to send to people. It had the perfect amount of cutesy while still staying in the almost gothic-like feel.

I wasn't expecting the script to be as humorous as the drawings, but here we are. I laughed a lot, especially as the writer really took advantage of every dog-like pun possible. Jimmy and Elise were perfect together, and this is now a ship I will go down on.

Format: ebook
Release Date: September 1st, 2020
Goodreads: Fangs

little scratch
by Rebecca Watson
This has to be one of the most original formats I've ever read for a book. Told through a stream of consciousness, this is a collection of all the thoughts the protagonist has throughout a single day in her life. 

I didn't really know what this going to read like when I first started it as the cluttered pages of multiple thoughts at once confused me. Yet the more I read, the easier to become to follow.

This was an incredibly immersive book, so it's really hard to accurately review, so stick with me. Firstly, I adored the main character. She was blunt yet quiet, which is something I very much relate to. At times her thoughts were almost suffocating as her anxiety kept rearing it's ugly head, and when she'd be continuously reminded of her recent sexual assault it felt like all the air was sucked out of your body. Once you get a flow going while reading this, you almost forget that her thoughts aren't your own. Which is an incredible feat by the author.

All in all, this book won't be for everyone. But if you connect with the story, it will be a very memorable read. Give it a shot. 

Format: Ebook
Release Date: 11th August, 2020
Goodreads: little scratch

Are you on NetGalley? What is something that you've recently been approved for? Let me know! 

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