Out Today: The Last Dog on Earth by Adrian J. Walker #BookReview #HappyPubDay

lastdogTitle: The Last Dog on Earth
Author: Adrian J. Walker
Series: N/A
Format: Digital ARC, 368 pages
Publication Details: September 7th 2017 by Del Rey
Genre(s): Science Fiction; Dystopia; Humour
Disclosure? Yep! I received a free, advanced copy in exchange for an HONEST review.

Goodreads 

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Every dog has its day…

And for Lineker, a happy go lucky mongrel from Peckham, the day the world ends is his: finally a chance to prove to his owner just how loyal he can be.

Reg, an agoraphobic writer with an obsession for nineties football, plans to wait out the impending doom in his second floor flat, hiding himself away from the riots outside.

But when an abandoned orphan shows up in the stairwell of their building, Reg and Lineker must brave the outside in order to save not only the child, but themselves…

Review

Do you ever request a book on Netgalley and then weeks later wonder why? That’s what I did with this book. I don’t like dogs and I hate football so what possessed me to request a book about a dog called Lineker and his 90s-Football-Mad owner is beyond me.

But guess what? This book was brilliant! Maybe a higher power was at work there.

The Last Dog on Earth is set in the near future, after London has been desecrated by a war. A lot of people died and the rest moved away from the hostile city leaving Reg, a recluse and his dog Lineker practically alone in Peckham. Reg can’t imagine moving. He hates change and doesn’t see any need to leave. The fact that everyone else has left is just a bonus.

Lineker loves Reg more than anything. His aim in life is to make Reg happy, but he definitely misses all his old friends on Peckham Rye.

The Last Dog on Earth is written from Lineker’s perspective and mainly in diary format from Reg’s. I think it worked perfectly. Lineker has a penchant for rhyming slang and loves a good rant. I thought he was hilarious. And it really reads like the mind of a dog; I thought it was a genius stroke by Walker. Even a self-confessed dog-hater (OK that’s a bit strong but sue me, I’m cat lady all the way) like me instantly fell in love with him.

You’ve always been a busy lot, you Sapiens. Climbing, foraging […], crossing oceans. Waging wars. Looking up. Looking down. But thinking – that’s what you do the most. You gaze up and drift away and none of us can guess where you go. F***ing Einsteins the lot of you. Take away all that thought and replace it with smell. Yeah, that’s the nearest I can get to describing how it is to be a dog.”

There is so much good stuff in this book, I want to throw a million quotes at you. The story really takes the reader on an immersive journey and actually the events themselves are pretty horrific but the humour lifts it immensely. It’s a book that makes you think, and that’s what surprised me the most I think.

What I probably should mention is the language. Lineker is a Class A potty mouth, and pretty vulgar at times. I loved it, but some readers might have issues with it. In fact, the only thing I can criticise about this book is that I wanted more narration by Lineker. As the story went on we get Reg’s POV a lot more and that slowed down the pace of the book for me. But I still couldn’t put it down.

Overall, TLDOE is a pretty bleak look at humanity, and a timely, poignant tale considering the world’s current political climate, but it’s extremely entertaining too. I laughed so much!

Oh to be a dog…

“Then there are the more confusing smells; the ones that are hard to categorise. Like fox. If I get wind of a fox I don’t know whether I want to cuddle it, f*** it or pull out its guts and eat them in front of it. It’s extremely confusing for me.”

 

“Now and again, once in a blue moon, maybe once or twice in your life, you will meet somebody who makes you wonder, seriously, how bad a life sentence would be. […] You want to take every nerve in their body, every fibre, every atom, and collect them together into a nice neat box so that none of them can escape, and then you want to piss all over them. […] That’s cats that is.”

TLDOE gets ALL THE UNICORNS because there wasn’t anything I disliked about it! I’d love to know what Lineker would make of Unicorns…

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This Month in Books: August 2016 #MonthlyRoundUp #TMIB

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August has been a fun month. I finally got back to a normal reading & blogging schedule, visited Prague, went to a #UKYA Speakeasy night, found a few new bookshops, saw two films at the London FrightFest and spent time with friends. It’s one of those few occasions where the work/life balance seemed to, well, balance!

August 2016 Stats

Total Posts: 14

Books Read: 6 
When Everything Feels Like the Movies ~ Raziel Reid
Daughter of Smoke and Bone ~ Laini Taylor
The Song of Achilles ~ Madeline Miller
The Seeing Stone ~ Kevin Crossley-Holland
A Million Little Pieces ~ James Frey
The Hummingbird’s Cage ~ Tamara Dietrich

The Breakdown:
Genres: YA (3/6); Fantasy (3/6); Historical (2/6); Contemporary (1/6)

Formats/Sources: Advance Copy (2/6); Digital (2/6); Hardback (0/6); Paperback (4/6) / Owned (2/6); Borrowed (1/6); For Review (2/6)

Most Surprising: The Hummingbird’s Cage 
Most Disappointing: The Seeing Stone
Most Exciting: The Song of Achilles
Most Swoon-worthy:  The Song of Achilles
Most Beautifully Written: The Song of Achilles

Reviews: 6

    • The Foreshadowing by Marcus Sedgwick, 4/5 (View)
    • And I Darken by Kiersten White, 2/5 (View)
    • When Everything Feels Like the Movies by Raziel Reid, 3/5 (View)
    • Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, 4/5 (View)
    • The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller, 5/5 (View)
    • The Hummingbird’s Cage by Tamara Dietrich

Most Viewed Posts

  1. This Week in Books (17.08.16)
  2. Top Ten Tuesday: Forever TBR
  3. Lazy Saturday Review: And I Darken

Promos, Guest Posts and Highlights

Awards

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TBR Shelf Update

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Earlier this year I decided I HAD to do something about my TBR shelves. Each month I’ll be doing a quick update to see how I’ve done. See my original post here, and my updated TBR list here. 

My TBR shelf has undergone a bit of a overhaul of late because I moved house and was brutal (well, it felt brutal OK) in my book weeding! However, I also now have more disposable income so I’ve been buying books again. It’s an endless cycle…

Previous TBR Count: 82

Books Added: 9

Books Read: 5

Books Donated: 18

Remaining: 68

September Releases

Here’s my pick of the September Releases

Are you looking forward to any of these?

Trust in Me by Sophie McKenzie (Out this week!)

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Title: Trust in Me
Author: Sophie McKenzie
Series: N/A
Edition: ARC, 464 pages
Publication Details: September 11th 2014 by Simon & Schuster UK
Genre(s): Psychological Thriller
Disclosure? Yep! I received a copy via the publisher/author in exchange for an HONEST review.

Goodreads
Purchase

Julia has always been the friend that Livy turns to when life is difficult. United fifteen years ago by grief at the brutal murder of Livy’s sister, Kara, they’ve always told each other everything.

Or so Livy thought.

So when Julia is found dead in her home, Livy cannot come to terms with the news that she chose to end her own life. The Julia that Livy knew was vibrant and vivacious, a far cry from the selfish neurotic that her family seem determined to paint her as.

Troubled by doubt but alone in her suspicions, Livy sets out to prove that Julia was in fact murdered. But little does she realise that digging into her best friend’s private life will cause her to question everything she thought she knew about Julia. And the truth that Livy discovers will tear the very fabric of her own life apart.

Trust in Me was my first Sophie McKenzie read, and the first psychological thriller I’ve read for a while. I totally ate it up.

When Livy finds her vivacious, free-spirited best friend lying dead on her sofa, her life begins to spin out of control. All signs suggest that she’s killed herself, but Livy knew her too well to know for certain that she’d never do a thing like that. Or did she?

Julia’s death not only brings back the horror of Livy’s little sister’s murder years before, but also starts to turn her pre-teen daughter and husband against her. Livy only has Damian – Julia’s boyfriend whom she knows very little about- to turn to, but can she trust him?

It’s been quite a while since I’ve read a book that I just couldn’t put down. As the story unfolds, it’s clear that Kara and Julia’s deaths are related, and all signs are pointing to people close to Livy, or to Damian. Trust in Me was one of those books that I had to stay up reading to find out who the killer was.

McKenzie did an excellent job of creating, and building tension. I felt so sorry for Livy whose life was crumbling down around her and there was nothing she could do about it, and had no one to trust.

There were just enough characters involved to suspect, making it a compelling read.

However, I did feel like the book was too long. Some passages were drawn out, and although I liked getting a complete picture of Livy’s life and past, I found myself skipping ahead sometimes. The pacing was good in parts, in order to build tension, but sometimes I wished McKenzie got to the point a bit quicker.

As for Livy, I liked her for the most part. I felt for her being in such a difficult position, but sometimes I wanted her to pull herself together and stop worrying about what her family thought of her, and just get on with finding out what happened to her best friend.

As the title suggests, this book raised a lot of issues surrounding trust. Will, Livy’s husband had cheated on her years before, but they’d overcome it. Livy trusted him as much as she knew how, but when evidence suggests that not only has Will cheated again, but that he might also be involved with Julia, and her death, understandably, Livy doesn’t know who she can trust.

“I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche

I hated that towards the end of this book it was repeatedly thrown in Livy’s face that she didn’t trust Will, but it was never highlighted that Will didn’t trust her either. He was so quick to dismiss Livy’s belief that Julia was murdered, that he made her think she was going mad. Gah! Double standards or what!

For me, Trust in Me, was a great read with only a few flaws. It reminded me a lot of the ITV drama Broadchurch. Much like with that show, at one point I was so confused as to who the killer was, I tried too hard figure it out and ruined it for myself when I did. In this, I figured it out quite a while before the big reveal which was a bit of a disappointment, but I still thoroughly enjoyed it.

Note to self: Stop thinking too much.

unicorn rating 4

Trust in Me is now available to Pre-order from Waterstones.

August 2014 on Lipsyy Lost & Found/ September Releases

Welcome to my new-look monthly round-up!

August was an average reading month for me, but I read some great books that will no doubt be filed under ‘favourites’ for years to come.

August was also the month of free books, a wedding, a David Bowie festival in the middle of nowhere, The Great British Bake Off, and a Kyle XY marathon.

But mainly, August was the month that James Frey emailed me. Plurally. And sent me a copy of his book Endgame (and a USB stick), after I had a little rant about some idiots on Goodreads slagging it off before they’ve even read it. If you can’t tell, I am still ecstatic about this.

Anyway on to the stats. And continue reading for a look at the best September Releases.

Total Posts: 21
Books Read: 6

Reviews (6):

  • She is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick, 5/5 (View)
  • Endgame: The Calling by James Frey & Nils Johnson-Shelton, 4/5 (View)
  • Ever Near by Melissa MacVicar, 4/5 (View)
  • Godmother: The Secret Cinderella Story by Carolyn Turgeon, 1/5 (View)
  • One of Us by Tawni O’Dell, 3/5 (View)
  • The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas, 4/5 (View)

Read But Not Yet Reviewed: N/A

The Breakdown

Most Surprising: She is Not Invisible
Most Disappointing: Godmother
Most Exciting: Endgame
Most Swoon-worthy: Ever Near
Most Beautifully Written: She is Not Invisible

Genres:
YA (5/6); Contemporary (1/6); Thriller/Mystery (2/6); Dystopian (1/6); Supernatural/Paranormal (1/6); Fairy-Tale Retellings (1/6); Sci-Fi (1/6)

Friday Features:

Most Viewed Posts:

    Added to the Shelves:


    Due to a severe lack of funds and the fact that I have nowhere to put them I am still on a book-buying ban. However, the universe was pretty good to me and I won two Goodreads giveaways, a David Bowie raffle (LOL) AND James Frey sent Endgame to me. (Oh, did I already mention that!?)

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    I also bought The Red House by Mark Haddon from a Charity Shop. Couldn’t resist. After last month’s NetGalley frenzy I didn’t request any more ARCs month. I did download this ‘Read Now’ title though. The cover is terrible, but the fact that it’s written by an actual surgeon is what tempted me.

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    Awards

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    September Releases

    Seeing as September is the start of the Autumn/Fall publishing season, there are SO many awesome-looking September releases. Here is my pick of the best.
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    Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3) – Sarah J. Mass – 2/09
    The Jewel – Amy Ewing – 2/09
    Winterkill – Kate A.Boorman – 9/9
    I’ll Give You the Sun – Jandy Nelson – 16/09
    Trust in Me – Sophie McKenzie – 18/09
    Salt & Storm – Kendall Kulper – 23/09
    Afterworlds – Scott Westerfeld – 23/09
    Tabula Rasa – Kristin Lippert-Martin – 23/09
    Us – David Nicholls – 30/09

    Available to pre-order from Waterstones