I have deteriorated further. My neck keeps subluxing and breaking away further in a particular direction and my skull rolls about independently on the pillow so I can’t ever keep it still or safe. It’s impossible to sleep with it moving around and bending the vertebrae close to snapping point. I’m rarely able to look at my phone screen. My fundraiser to save my life is here, which I’d be very grateful if you would share with your contacts and on social media: https://www.gofundme.com/f/jenny-cant-be-left-like-this
In the meantime, the only thing I’m able to do, while desperately trying to stay alive, is listen to audiobooks. I love reviewing things, so here are my continuing audiobook adventures. Let me know if you listen/read any of them as a result of my reviews and if you enjoy them.
The Other Bennet Sister by Janice Hadlow
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – 4.75 out of 5 stars
This story is told from the point of view of Mary (the middle of the five Bennet sisters in Pride and Prejudice). Brilliantly and satisfyingly done. It’s a faithful retelling in tone and spirit, yet it’s also refreshing and fascinating. You see events and characters from Pride and Prejudice in a new light and it makes you think twice. Mary Bennet may even become your new favourite Bennet sister, believe it or not. Thoroughly recommend this book. Delightful and engrossing. Didn’t want it to end.
The Frieda Klein Mystery series by Nicci French
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – 3.5 out of 5 stars
I’ve only listened to the first three books so far (Blue Monday, Tuesday’s Gone, Waiting for Wednesday) and am currently listening to the fourth (there are eight in total in this series). Having watched so many tightly-written, expertly executed crime TV series that also have heart and humour (Rizzoli & Isles, Castle, White Collar, Elementary, Person of Interest, Sherlock, Criminal Minds, The Mentalist, Pysch) it was a bit difficult to adjust to a crime book at first. Sometimes I wanted to scream HURRY UP AND GET THERE ALREADY when you’re impatient to know the truth or when you can see things coming a mile off. But after the first book, I started getting into this series a lot more and there were even a couple of things I didn’t see coming. The cast of characters involved becomes something that compels you to want to start the next book as soon as the last one has finished. The tension of the mysteries is built up well. You’ll predict some things but maybe there’ll be some things that surprise you too. Or things that you suspected at first but then dismissed because of the clever way it was done, only for it to unfurl to be correct, in a more fleshed out way.
Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – 4.25 out of 5 stars
I’m so glad that I carried on reading after the first book. Although the first book was good, sometimes the dialogue and writing made me cringe a bit (the perils of it being written specifically for a teen audience, maybe) and at the time I also felt the main character was a tad irritating. I wasn’t sure whether to read more of the series and didn’t understand how there could be enough plot to fill six more books or for it to interest me. But oh my goodness, I’m so glad I read the rest of the series. The restraint the author showed in barely letting the breadth or scope or progression of what she planned be apparent in the first book at all! The plotting is, in fact, masterful and the series is so much more than what you think it is from the first book. The surprises and sudden reveals are joyful. It just becomes better and better and by the last book, Kingdom of Ash, when all the threads and characters are coming together, I was LOVING it. Another one that I didn’t want to end.
Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler
⭐️⭐️⭐️ – 3 out of 5 stars
Genre: Collapse of civilisation, survival story.
Slow start and not nearly as deep as it thinks it is. But well written, nuanced and well observed. Some people may think it’s too depressing but I enjoy stuff like this, especially the survival elements.
The Shelf by Helly Acton
⭐️⭐️⭐️ – 3.5 out of 5 stars
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
This was billed as a feminist takedown of reality TV. If so, it’s a rather low bar of what constitutes as feminist but I wasn’t bored once; it was fun and pacy. The concept was entertaining: a woman thinks she is going on holiday and that her boyfriend is going to propose but instead is dumped live on TV and must compete in a series of humiliating and obnoxious tasks in the hope of being crowned ‘The Keeper’. Not a genre I’ve had much experience of before but I looked forward to listening to it every day.