Book Review: 'Eve of Man' by the Fletchers

I don't want to say I'm a stalker or anything, but I have a very unhealthy obsession with the Fletcher family.

Or maybe it is mainly the Fletcher kids.

What started off as a simple follow on Instagram has become full-blown admiration for possibly the most beautiful family I have ever seen. Buzz and Buddy melt my heart on a daily basis when I make a regular sweep of Instragram stories in the hope that there is a new clip of them being adorable. I also started following Gi's sister at the beginning of this week when I realised they were all on holiday together and there would be more videos on hers too, only to fully discover just how cute her daughter is too.

But that is not what we are here for today - or at least it wasn't until I started writing about them and apparently couldn't stop.

We are gathered here today to say a warm welcome to the best new duo to hit the literary market. In their first novel together, Giovanna and Tom Fletcher have kicked off a dystopian trilogy that I am yet to see a single bad review of. And you won't find one here either. For the first time in a long while, I have both started and finished a book in just over 24 hours, despite spending a lot of that time sleeping and working.

The Writer Tag

While looking for some other book blogs to follow last week, I randomly came across an old post from 2016 on Viva Tramp on a writer's tag that she made up herself. I love finding these things out about people, and since my blog is still very much a newborn, it also seemed like a perfect fit to introduce myself a little more, so here goes.

1. What do you write? What genre? Any recurring themes?
I write a lot of what I like to read, and that is realist fiction. I much prefer creating a world much like the one we live in so that I can draw on my own experiences to make the piece as interesting as possible. I'd love to challenge myself and write something a little more crazy though.

2. What or who inspires you to write?
Other writers. Whenever I see someone tweeting about an exciting project or instagramming a photo of them sitting at a desk or in a coffee shop, it always makes me want to do the same.

3. Where do you write, when and with what?
I do basically all of my writing from the comfort of my office, aka my bed. I never write in the morning, because the creative part of my brain seems to take all day to warm up, and then I am full steam ahead when I should be going to sleep. I get all my best ideas at night time. I very rarely write an actual draft by hand, it is always typed, but I do like to handwrite my notes because the ideas seem to flow well that way.

New In #1

As I am sure is the case for most obsessive readers, I am constantly buying books before I have even made a dent in the already huge to-read piles dotted around my room.

Before I probably buy more and don't touch these books for a good couple of months, here are a few books I have picked up recently! Reviews coming soon for any I have strong feelings about.

(All links are to the respective Goodreads pages where you will find what others think of them, and shopping links.)

1. Eve of Man - Tom and Giovanna Fletcher

To completely contradict everything I just said, this particular book is not getting left to collect dust on my bookshelf before I read it for the first time. I have been so excited for this book to be released for so long, especially in the past couple of weeks when I have been stalking them both on Instagram stories and seeing them already planning book two. They seem like the most genuine, lovely people, with the cutest kids, and I am already a big fan of Gi's writing. Those factors already had me sold on the book, and then I read what it is what about and couldn't have been more thrilled. When I started writing this post, I had originally said that First, We Make the Beast Beautiful was the prettiest thing I had ever seen. Since then, I have collected this book from Waterstones where I had pre-ordered it from, and I had to amend what I said. THIS is the prettiest thing I have ever seen. Look at that glitter. It is everything I could hope for in a book cover. If I was the author, this would be the book cover of dreams. 

Summer Reading Challenge (+ recommendations)

I'm a huge fan of Goodreads, and I have got into the habit of getting straight online the second I have finished a book to add it to my list and see my number of books towards my 2018 challenge go up. I find so many of the books I read or add to my ever growing to-read list on Goodreads, and it is the most helpful way of keeping track of what I want to read and what is being released and when. There is nothing worse than knowing a vague description about a book but not being able to remember the title and therefore you can no longer find it.

Upon browsing the blog section of the website, I came across their recent article featuring their ultimate Summer Reading Challenge. I have never tried to take part in anything like that before, and I definitely don't have the focus levels to actually finish, but it seems to me like a great idea if I am unsure what to pick up next.

So here I sit, in the exact spot as in the photograph above, mug of coffee beside me and the fluffiest slippers on my feet, perusing online to make this challenge a tiny bit easier for you. I probably couldn't look less summery if I tried, but that's Scottish summer for you. If you know, you know.

Here is a list I have compiled of suggested books to match each of the categories in the challenge - so that you don't have to! I've tried to keep it as varied as possible to suit all different tastes, so there should be something for everyone.


** All links lead to the respective Goodreads page where you will find descriptions and shopping links **

✺ Summer Related Tasks ✺

1. The great wide open:
Amy & Roger's Epic Detour - Morgan Matson
2. Summer activities: The Summer I Turned Pretty - Jenny Han
3. Yellow, green or sandy cover: The Perfect Couple - Elin Hilderbrand
4. Beach read: Deadly Summer - Denise Grover Swank
5. Takes place on the beach: Along for the Ride - Sarah Dessen
6. Takes place on water: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain
7. Features fishing: The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men Against the Sea - Sebastian Junger
8. Features a popular summer sport: Beartown - Fredrik Backman (ok it's not a summer sport, it's ice hockey)
9. Scary story: The Yellow Wallpaper - Charlotte Perkins Gilman
10. Read in a day: Not If I Save You First - Ally Carter

✺ Tasks to Stretch Your Comfort Zone ✺

1. Features falling in or out of love:
Everything I Know About Love - Dolly Alderton
2. LGBTQIA author/character: History Is All You Left Me - Adam Silvera
3. Another country/culture: The Help - Kathryn Stockett
4. Author of colour: The Hate U Give - Angie Thomas
5. Translation: Austerlitz - W.G. Sebald
6. Short story or essay collection: Nasty Women
7. Poetry: The Sun and Her Flowers - Rupi Kaur
8. Spin on a well-known fairytale: Geekerella - Ashley Poston
9. Western: Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
10. TBR pile: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda - Becky Albertalli
11. Goodreads shelf: A False Report: A True Story of Rape in America - T. Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong
12. Choose-your-own-adventure novel: (What on earth does this one mean? I have chosen a book about embracing change and adventure because I am lost) The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story of War and What Comes After - Clemantine Wamariya
13. Audio book: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - narrated by Stephen Fry

Grab yourself a little summer cocktail or a refreshing drink, and happy reading x

A Grand Welcome

Three years into my English literature, journalism and creative writing degree and I have come to the realisation that I don't have all that much experience under my belt outside of university assignments and the plethora of unfinished 'books' that I wrote on the ancient family desktop computer when I came home from primary school each day.

I've always loved writing. I was really that kid that reminded my teacher at the end of the day that she had forgotten to give out the homework she promised (I wish that was a joke). I own more books than you could count, so many that there is an honest-to-god crack on my living room ceiling directly below where my bookcase sits in my bedroom. That's because I haven't just filled the shelves, but also created a makeshift one on top and surrounded the floor around it in extra little piles. then there is a pile on each of the bedside cabinets on either side of my bed, one in probably every handbag I own, some more randomly dotted around my room, and did I mention I live in the great city of Glasgow for university and have more here too? I think you get the point I am trying to make here.

I actually recently found a sheet of paper in my cupboard signed Holly, age 7 from the time I started my own newspaper. I called it The Holly Gazset (creative) and spent the whole one page detailing how mummy and daddy and Lewis (my brother) must pay real money for this, it can't be pretend money, it has to be actual money, instead of reporting any real news. God loves a trier.

With a bit of luck, and perhaps some effort, I am hoping this blog won't be one of those many books I tried to write over the years. Of course, I waited until THE BUSIEST UNI YEAR to do this, aka dissertation year and the year I somehow sorta accidentally but very gratefully became the arts editor of the student newspaper.

I'm not too sure what I can say about what will be found on here, but I feel it is safe to assume that the focus will be along the lines of reviewing books, sharing my delight at the delicious smell of a new book, and even the joys of navigating life as a very clueless 20 year old living away from home. 

Welcome, and enjoy!