Talking About ‘The Memory Book’ with Bibliobeth!

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Synopsis:

The name of your first-born. The face of your lover. Your age. Your address…

What would happen if your memory of these began to fade?

Is it possible to rebuild your life? Raise a family? Fall in love again?

When Claire starts to write her Memory Book, she already knows that this scrapbook of mementoes will soon be all her daughters and husband have of her. But how can she hold on to the past when her future is slipping through her fingers…?

CHRISSI: The Memory Book is described in reviews as ‘life affirming’. Do you agree with this and if so why?

BETH: One hundred percent. It is definitely life affirming but in such a bitter sweet way. Our main character is Claire who has been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease. She has two daughters, an older girl Caitlin from a previous relationship who she brought up alone, not telling the father about the pregnancy. Now she is married to Greg, the love of her life and has had a daughter with him Esther who is still very young. The bitter sweet part is that the Alzheimer’s is progressing more quickly than her family had expected, to a point where she is not safe left on her own. She begins to make a memory book to try and capture old memories so that they cannot be forgotten. There is no magical cure for her illness so there’s not going to be a happy ending but the story makes you think about how lucky you are to be alive and well in comparison and to live life to the fullest.

BETH: Discuss the relationship between Claire and Greg.

CHRISSI: I found the relationship incredibly moving between Claire and Greg. It was so hard to read about their relationship unravelling before their eyes. It must be incredibly hard for both sufferer and partner to deal with this horrible disease. Claire knew that she loved Greg at some point, but she couldn’t help the way the disease was making her feel. I thought it was particularly hard to read how Greg had to deal with ‘losing’ his wife so quickly. *gets all choked up*

CHRISSI: This book has been compared to Jojo Moyes’ Me Before You. This is one of our favourite books. Did the comparison affect your preconceptions of The Memory Book?

BETH: I always hate when books are compared to other books that I love! (A similar thing is happening with Gone Girl at the moment). However, I tried to ignore the hype monster, put JoJo Moyes book to the back of my mind and just enjoy the story that I was reading. It has a similar message sure, but I think it stands alone as a great story in its own right.

BETH: What did you think of Claire’s decision not to tell Caitlin who her father was?
CHRISSI: Oh gosh! That’s such a hard question. I think that except for exceptional circumstances that everyone deserves to know who their father is. It’s a part of them. I could totally understand Claire’s reasons why, but it really did make things hard in the long run for Caitlin and her father.

CHRISSI: Discuss the mother/daughter relationships in the book.

BETH: We have a few mother/daughter relationships in the novel. There’s Claire’s mother Ruth who has already nursed her own husband through Alzheimer’s disease until he died. Ruth and Claire have a bit of a fiery relationship as Claire is a strong and independent woman who when the disease hits, is finding it difficult to be taken care of and starts to resent her mother monitoring her so closely, even though she is doing it purely out of love. I enjoyed watching the relationship change between these two characters throughout the book, it was truly heart-warming. Then we have Claire’s relationships with her two daughters Esther and Caitlin. In her relationship with Esther, she becomes frustrated when she cannot read to her any more but ends up spending a lot of time with her doing fun things like escaping to the park and trying to cook – which ends in disaster! With Caitlin, it’s a bit more difficult, she has her own secrets and is finding the burden of knowing that she will have to care for her mother and that her mother will slowly forget her very difficult to take on.

BETH: Discuss how Greg copes with what is happening to Claire.

CHRISSI: *gets choked up again* I can’t even imagine how difficult it must be to deal with someone you love having this terrible disease. It really does destroy the person that used to be, and to watch someone you love have to go through that… it must be awful. I think Greg copes well considering what he is dealing with. You can feel his sadness and his detachment from his family. There are twists and turns in the story but I don’t want to spoil it for those that haven’t read it yet!

CHRISSI: Do you think this book is sensitive enough to the disease?

BETH: Definitely. I think it was portrayed very well. I was quite tentative when I was reading this novel, as Alzheimer’s and dementia are one of my worst fears. However, as Claire slips a bit further the author even manages to bring a bit of humour into situations that Claire finds herself in that were “sad-funny,” which I appreciated.

BETH: Would you read another book by this author?
CHRISSI: Most definitely. A beautiful writer!

Would we recommend it?:
Without a doubt!

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5th Annual End of Year Survey

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Again,  I’m linking up with one of my favourite bloggers, Jamie, from The Perpetual Page Turner. I can’t believe it’s time for another end of year survey! This year has been packed full of good reads, which I’m looking forward to sharing with you. Of course, it’s not technically the end of the year, yet, but if I read a book this month which HAS to go into this list I shall edit!

2014 Reading Stats:

Number Of Books You Read: 125
Number of Re-Reads: 3
Genre You Read The Most From: YA

Best In Books:

1. Best Book You Read In 2014?

Okay, this is hard. Starting with a very hard question! Hmm… I would have to say either Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo or Something Real by Heather Demetrios.

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

 To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. I enjoyed it, but expected it to be much better than it was!

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read in 2014? 

Golden Boy by Abigail Tarttelin. I didn’t expect it to be as good as it was!

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did) In 2014?

 Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. I will forever push that book on everyone that asks for a recommendation!

 5. Best series you started in 2014? Best Sequel of 2014? Best Series Ender of 2014?

(These are just from books I’ve read this year, they may not necessarily have released this year…)

Best series: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, Best Sequel of 2014: Dead Silent by Sharon Jones, Best Series Ender: Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi.

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2014?

Sarah J.Maas! Looking forward to reading more from her!

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

 Say Her Name by James Dawson

 8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

 Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson. I couldn’t put it down!

 9. Book You Read In 2014 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

I’m not a big re-reader if I’m honest!

10. Favourite cover of a book you read in 2014?

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11. Most memorable character of 2014?

Max Walker from Golden Boy.

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2014?

 Bird by Crystal Chan.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2014?

 The Memory Book by Rowan Coleman

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2014 to finally read? 

Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman

 15. Favourite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2014?

“It takes strength to be proud of yourself and to accept yourself when you know that you have something out of the ordinary about you.”- Golden Boy, Abigail Tarttelin

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2014?

Shortest- The Snow Queen-a novella at 80 pages.

Longest- Take Me On– 544 pages

(How I did this: Went to my read books on Goodreads and sorted by page number and just looked for what I knew I read this year that was the shortest and longest).

 17. Book That Shocked You The Most

The twist at the end of Knife Edge by Malorie Blackman.

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

(OTP = one true pairing if you aren’t familiar)

Haley and West from Take Me On– Katie McGarry

19. Favourite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Reagan and Dee- Open Road Summer

20. Favourite Book You Read in 2014 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

The Girl Who Walked On Air by Emma Carroll

21. Best Book You Read In 2014 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

Sorry to say it again, but Golden Boy by Abigail Tarttelin!

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2014?

Matt from Open Road Summer

23. Best 2014 debut you read?

Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

 Ravka- The Grisha Trilogy

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

This Book is Gay– James Dawson

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2014?

Lies We Tell Ourselves– Robin Talley

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

Half Bad– Sally Green

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

 A Monster Calls– Patrick Ness

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2014?

A Kiss in The Dark- Cat Clarke

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

Dear Killer– Katherine Ewell

Your Blogging/Bookish Life

1. New favourite book blog you discovered in 2014? 

I have so many favourite blogs, but to name one of my favourites… is Katie from Sherlockianbooklover!

2. Favourite review that you wrote in 2014? 

 A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness.

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?

Religion in literature

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

The Young Adult Literature Convention in London!

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2014?

Keeping up with my blog considering how busy I am with my postgraduate course!

6. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

You’re The One That I Want– Giovanna Fletcher

7. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

The Drowning– Rachel Ward. Only so more people can see it and hopefully want to read it!

8. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

Mr B’s Emporium in Bath!

9. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

I completed The British Books Challenge, The 2014 Debut Challenge and by the end of December, I will have completed Luna’s Picks, Beth and Chrissi Do Kid-Lit 2014 and hopefully my goals for the 14 series I wanted to finish/start!

 Looking ahead

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2014 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2015?

There are so many! I’ll go for… Stolen by Lucy Christopher!

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2015 (non-debut)?

Half Wild-Sally Green!

3. 2015 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

Everything That Makes You– Moriah McStay

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2015?

Winter– Marissa Meyer

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2015?

Put less pressure on myself!

6. A 2015 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:

Eek, unfortunately I haven’t read any yet. Using some of my holiday time in December to do that. I’m looking forward to All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven.

So there it is… my answers to Jamie’s End of Year Survey. Please make sure to visit Jamie’s blog to see her answers and link up your post if you have completed the survey. Feel free to link your surveys for me to visit too. I love to see all of the answers!

WWW Wednesday #97

WWW Wednesdays is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Click on the image to get to her blog!

 

Welcome to another WWW Wednesday! To participate in WWW Wednesday, you need to answer three questions.

•What are you currently reading?
•What did you recently finish reading?
•What do you think you’ll read next?

Click on the book cover to get to the Goodreads page for the book.

What are you currently reading?

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I’m currently reading The Memory Book by Rowan Coleman. I’m not very far through it, but already I’m finding it incredibly moving. I will be reviewing this book with Beth within the next week or so!

What did you recently finish reading?

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I recently finished The Visitors by Rebecca Mascull. I thought that this book was a fantastic debut!

What do you think you’ll read next?

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Next up for me is White Fang by Jack London. This book will be reviewed by the end of the month as part of Beth and I’s Kid-Lit Challenge!

What are you reading this week? Please feel free to leave a link to your posts and I’ll stop by! Happy Reading 😀

Stacking The Shelves #23

Click on the image to take you to Tynga's blog to learn more!

Click on the image to take you to Tynga’s blog to learn more!

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you’re adding to your shelves, be it buying or borrowing. From ‘real’ books you’ve purchased, a book you’ve borrowed, a book you’ve been given or an e-book they can all be shared!

As ever, click on the book image to take you to the books Goodread’s profile.

Edelweiss/NetGalley

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The Runaway Wife- This book sounds really intriguing so I was glad to be approved for it!

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Sometimes Never, Sometimes Always- A beautiful cover and a book I’m looking forward to reading!

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The Truth About Letting Go- The cover is so pretty and it sounds intriguing!

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Confessions of a Chalet Girl- I’ve seen this one about a few blogs now and I was intrigued!

 

For Review

Lightpoints

Lightpoints- This book is gripping, a story of a woman who has a near death experience and awakens with a new sense.

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Ascendant- This book sounds SO good. Can’t wait to read it.

Feel free to leave your links so that I can see what you’re stacking your shelves with!