Goodreads Reviews, Humour, Lisa's Book Life

Sweetpea by C J Skuse (a 2017 top read)

Sweetpea by C.J. Skuse

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“I don’t want to talk any more about today. I just want to overeat and shit myself and die. Or shit myself after I die. Apparently that happens. And when you give birth too. Ugh. What a world.”

Although her childhood was haunted by a famous crime, Rhinannon’s life is normal now that her celebrity has dwindled. By day, her job as an editorial assistant is demeaning and unsatisfying. By evening she dutifully listens to her friend’s plans for marriage and babies whilst secretly making a list.

A kill list.

From the man on the Lidl checkout who always mishandles her apples and squashes her sliced loaf, to the driver who cuts her up on her way to work. And then there’s the people who really deserve to die.

This story had me roaring with laughter like the mad woman I am. It is 100% my kind of humour, for which I am 100% not sorry for. It’s certainly NOT your average humour, and it could very well offend and disturb a lot of people. But not me, I loved it!

So, in order to try and lead a relatively normal life, Rhiannon, creates The Act. This is basically her way of fitting in with her colleagues and her group of friends. (aka ‘The PICSO’s’. You’ll have to read it to find out what that stands for. It’s absolute class, and everyone has a PICSO or ten in their lives!) They have no idea that she is a psychopath with uncontrollable murderous tendencies.

The story is told in diary format, which I love because it’s so easy to follow. What I loved about it most of all though was the humour. It was dark, deeply disturbing and very un-pc. Worryingly, I heard my own thoughts countless times throughout!

“Got on the scales first thing – still not lost the Christmas poundage. Googled ‘West Country Liposuction’. Can’t afford it. Had an eclair.” (Yes! Cake IS the answer!)

Had I have read this in a public place, I’d of got very strange looks because I was laughing and snorting and nodding my head in agreement all the way through. Rhiannon, you’re a gem, albeit a murderous one!!

Without giving too much away, here’s a couple of tasters of her many Kill Lists which cropped up throughout the story;

1. People who walk in groups along the pavement so no one else can get past, like they’re fucking in Reservoir Dogs. (Why do people do this?!)

2. Middle-class people who believe it’s their God-given right to bring their babies into restaurants and allow them to squawk all through a meal. (Ugh, don’t get me started on this one!)

3. Interrupters. (Yep, totally agree!)

I know it’s a pretty harsh attitude to have, but I’m certain loads of people think these things, the older I’ve got, the less tolerant I’ve become, so these felt very relatable for me! Not to the extent that I want to kill anybody though, I’d like to point out!! Rhiannon, you’re my kind of girl. But I value my life far too much to be your friend!

C J Skuse has created incredibly believable characters with such depth and imagination that every single one of them stood out for one reason or another. Sweetpea was an absolute joy to read. However, it certainly won’t be for everyone because there’s violence, profanity and stuff that is quite simply, very, very wrong. But, for me, entertainment-wise, it was very, very right. I just hope the author will be writing another instalment, because, damn it, that ended on a cliff-hanger! I need to know what happens to Rhiannon next!

This gets a well-earned 5 stars from me, mainly because I can’t stop thinking about it and I end up chuckling to myself!

Oh, and here’s what would be on my Kill List, just for the record;

1. Boasters.

2. Upstairs neighbours who think it’s a grand idea to have laminate floors with insufficient underlay and 3 tap-dancing kids.

3. People who lick the wooden stick of an ice lolly.

4. The previous tenant of MY flat, who insists on getting ‘payday loans’ under MY address with no intention of paying it back. YOU DO NOT LIVE HERE ANY MORE. THEY WILL FIND YOU. AND KILL YOU. Or maybe just insist you pay it back in manageable instalments of £1.21 a month.

I’d like to thank the author, C J Skuse, and the publisher, HQ (UK), for the opportunity to read this via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The pleasure was all mine!

View all my reviews

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Lisa's Book Life

13,569 Pages Later (A bookish Zombie Apocalypse movie)

Ok, ok, so it’s nothing to do with Zombies, but I liked that title, so I went with it!

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Aahh, this was nice to see on Goodreads, the lowdown on my 2017 journey. I’ve read some truly brilliant books this year, and I’m excited to get stuck in to many more in the New Year.

My TBR shelf is as enormous as ever, but I still NEED to buy one or two (87) that I’ve been pining for over the last year.

THESE. For starters.

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Anyway, this is (probably) my final post of the year, so I’m off now to eat shit-loads of fantastic food, get pissed, play Monopoly and read inbetween. Not much reading will get done because I can’t read under the influence…

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And finally, Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year to you all, you lot make this blogging malarky so worth while. Thank you 😍

Ok, I’m done. Is 10.22am too early for a bevvy? 😯

 

 

Lisa's Book Life

Top Ten Tuesday – My Best Bookish LOL’s #OwlBeSatLaughing

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I love a book that’s an absolute hoot to read, (see what I did there?!) but I do have to be in the mood to read funny stuff. So I thought I’d share my top ten funniest reads so far for the Top Ten Tuesday meme that was originally created by The Broke and the Bookish.

First off, we have possibly one of THE funniest ‘Books About Books’ that I can ever recall reading. Jen Campbell’s Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops. I currently have #2 on my bookshelf and I’m looking forward to reading it when the mood takes. I’ll probably be reading it soon because I’m a bit of a miserable owl this time of year, and it will cheer me up because I really don’t like Christmas very much!

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Now we have yet another book about books, Craig McLays Village Books. It isn’t funny all the time, but the characters in this were superb, with dry wit and cracking one-liners, this had me chuckling away numerous times.

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Aww, this one, it has such a special place in my heart! 💜 I used to read this to my daughter 20-odd years ago. She loved it so much. Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy by the brilliant Lynley Dodd. A simple rhyming picture book, with animal characters that are fantastic!

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Another kids book next, the superb Roald Dahl’s  The Twits. I loved this as a child, and also read it during ‘Dahl week’ at the pre-school I used to work at. The class all sat on the reading mat, and me doing my best twittish voice overs is something I’ll never forget. All those little faces smiling and giggling away, it was truly magical!

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Something a bit different next in line, A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson. I watched the film of this before I read the book. It starred Robert Redford and Nick Nolte and I thoroughly enjoyed it, so I bought the book second hand. I had a right good old laugh second time round! Unusually for me, I did prefer the movie, but the book was still delightfully funny.

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The next one is Peter Kay’s autobiography, The Sound of Laughter. I just adore Peter Kay, he’s the same age as me so everything he talks about in his book is so relateable. GARLIC BREAD?! GARLIC BREAD?! (You’ll only understand the comedy value of this foodstuff if you’re a fan! 😂)

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And while I’m on the subject of autobigraphies, next in line is Is It Just Me? by the super hilarious Miranda Hart. Again, I can relate so much to Miranda, she’s around my age and her book was SUCH FUN!😂

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This next book is on my Best of 2017 list, as not only is it utterly hysterical, but also very dark and un-PC. The fantastic C J Skuse’s Sweetpea. This one could possibly be ‘up there’ as one of my favourite books ever. Now THAT’S an accolade is it not?! We all know how hard it is to name favourite reads, but this is by far, a book I will never forget and will re-read for sure.

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The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time has won countless awards. This wonderful story has a main character with Asperger’s Syndrome, and Mark Haddon did a grand job of writing about such a sensitive subject with shed-loads of humour. I enjoyed it so much that I read it again STRAIGHT AFTER finishing it! What does that tell you?! As the cover suggests, it was outstanding. And so darn funny!

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And now for my final top ten LOL book, which is #4 in a series. The first three I have yet to read, and I usually never read a series out of numerical order! This was on NetGalley when I first joined and I fancied something a little different to my normal choice of genre so I requested it. And I’m so glad I did because Inspector Hobbes and the Bones (Unhuman #4) by Wilkie Martin was totally nuts! I rarely choose fantasy, but this just sounded odd and entertaining, and I loved the cover art. To best describe this one I’d say it was a Cosy Crazy Crime Fantasy Comedy Mystery! I really must read the first one to get some background on the characters. It was bonkers and quite unique.

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So, my first ever Top Ten Tuesday post is done! I’m not the most organised blogger, so whether I do another #TTT any time soon remains to be seen. My posts are a bit random, but I like it that way. At least then I’m not committing myself to blog on days I don’t feel like blogging!

Thanks for reading, and I’d love to hear what your favourite funny reads are. Drop me a comment below if you fancy 😀

 

 

 

Bookpost, Competition Winner, Giveaways, Lisa's Book Life

December Bookpost (and a letter of thanks to my Postman)

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The beginning of 2018 is looking exciting, this is my latest bookpost and I’m looking forward to getting stuck in to this lovely lot. Particularly the bottle of fizz and choccies that the wonderful Phoebe Morgan sent me along with a bind of The Doll House. I entered a giveaway on Twitter and was so chuffed to be a winner!

Whilst on the subject of Twitter, I also became Dan Mooneys’ 1000th follower, and he kindly sent me a copy of his book Me, Myself and Them. Thank you Dan!

The Child Finder I won in a Goodreads giveaway, so I’ve had lots of bookluck lately. Which brings me to the second part of my post, because my postman ensured I received all this promptly and everything arrived in one piece! Royal Mail, you’re pretty damn good at this delivery lark!

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The Blue Door

With the Small Letterbox

Book Addict Road

Hampshire

UK

December 2017

Dear Mr Postman,

Thank you for your continued support and patience regarding the sheer volume of bookpost you have painstakingly delivered to me over the last year.

I know I can be a pain and sometimes not be in when you knock. And I’m sorry I don’t have a ‘safe place’. I’d also like to enlarge my letterbox for you to make your life just that bit easier, but that won’t be happening I’m afraid. Ideally I need a secure drop-box so you don’t get the copious amounts of jiffy bag parcels lodged in my letterbox. But that won’t be happening either.

So going into the New Year, I am more than likely to receive regular bookpost that probably still won’t fit without a fight. I’d like to say that there won’t be as much this coming year, but I don’t think that will happen somehow. Not if I can help it anyway.

I wish you the very best of luck with your deliveries to me in 2018. At least I don’t have a barky, vicious dog who threatens to bite the hand that feeds my addiction every time there’s something for me. Perhaps that’s something to be thankful for! Who knows, you might get put on a different round so some other poor soul has to carry my sometimes weighty parcels.

Anyway, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you, you’re the best! 😀

Kindest Regards

Lisa, OwlBeSatReading

Lisa's Book Life

How my bookishness began..

Casting my mind back to the early eighties, I remember when ‘the book club’ people used to bring a pile of books into the foyer of my junior school.

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Now, I was never a spoilt child, I rarely had the latest trends, my parents mainly replying to my wants with a ‘I’ll make you one’, (a Care Bear cuddly toy – Mum), or, ‘you don’t need a climbing frame, here’s 20 yards of rope, I’ll tie it from the apple tree to next doors fence!’ (- Dad). So I generally just made do. One of my most vivid memories was the slide Dad knocked up in the shed, made from an old white MDF dressing table. It lasted probably ten minutes because the splinters in my ass kind of put me off playing on it!

But, when it came to books, thankfully, that was a completely different story! 😉 So, off home I’d skip with the order form flapping away in my hand, because that day, I knew my parents would say ‘it’s book club time is it? Here you are, have five big juicy pounds, choose whichever ones you’d like.’ Oh the joy!

I was like a kid in a sweety shop, I can tell you! Working out how many books I could order for my five pounds. Now, back in 1980, five quid was a HUGE sum of money for any kid, and the fact that I was getting something that wasn’t home made filled me with utter glee!

The ‘book lady’ used to visit my school probably three times a year, and on every visit, I was one of the rare kids who ALWAYS had the full fiver to spend. My parents obviously knew just how important reading was, and dished out the maximum spend allowed, no questions asked, and no threats of ‘making me one’.

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So these exciting moments of my childhood have stayed with me. I can vividly remember receiving my little bundle of books, held together with two large elastic bands in a cross fashion. Even then, I was greedily sniffing the newness, rushing home to get stuck in to Roald Dahls’ The Twits and Revolting Rhymes.

As I got older, obviously I progressed to longer stories with less pictures. And then, one day on the book table at school, I discovered a series of books called ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’. Oh. My. God. 😮

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That was it for me, a book that you don’t read IN PAGE ORDER?!! What IS THIS?!! Well, all I can say is, I rarely left my bedroom! My Mum was like, ‘Lisa, it’s a glorious day, why don’t you go outside and play, get some fresh air?’ Um, I’m in the middle of a great adventure at the moment, so maybe later. Or not.

As I headed into Senior School, my tastes changed somewhat. Sat in an English class one morning, circa 1986, one of the lads in my class was discreetly reading, holding the book under the desk. He was absolutely engrossed. ‘What ya reading?’ I asked, with an air of (fake) disinterest. (I didn’t want him to think I was genuinely interested, that just wasn’t cool!) ‘Oh, you won’t like it, it’s gory and horrible’ he replied.

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I WANTED THAT BOOK. That very weekend, I visited my local library and borrowed A STACK OF HORROR from the adult section, and I was converted into a James Herbert fan overnight. Horror was now my bag.

That’s my story of my earliest feelings of book-love, and it’s stayed with me all my life, and I thought I’d share it with you 😀

What’s your earliest bookish recollection as a child? I’d love to hear your stories!