October reading round up.

The Upstairs Room by Kate Murray-Browne
'Eleanor, Richard and their two young daughters recently stretched themselves to the limit to buy their dream home, a four-bedroom Victorian townhouse in East London. But the cracks are already starting to show. Eleanor is unnerved by the eerie atmosphere in the house and becomes convinced it is making her ill. Whilst Richard remains preoccupied with Zoe, their mercurial twenty-seven-year-old lodger, Eleanor becomes determined to unravel the mystery of the house’s previous owners—including Emily, whose name is written hundreds of times on the walls of the upstairs room. '

From what I'd heard about this I was expecting a gothic ghost story but it was actually a modern relationship drama with a ghost story going on in the background. Regardless I really enjoyed this and like how the writer left things fairly ambiguous. It was a bit of a slow burn and was more character driven but it really got into the characters thoughts and feelings and I liked that. 4/5

Undone by Cat Clarke
'Jem Halliday is in love with her gay best friend. Not exactly ideal, but she's learning to live with it.
Then the unspeakable happens. Kai is outed online ... and he kills himself.
Jem knows nothing she can say or do will bring him back. But she wants to know who was responsible. And she wants to take them down.'

I loved Girlhood by Cat Clarke and wanted to read more of her stuff. This one was ok but just wasn't anywhere near as good in my opinion. I found the story and writing a little cheesy and predictable at times but it handled mental health well and was an enjoyable enough read. 3/5

Broadcast by Liam Brown
'The idea behind MindCast is simple. We insert a small chip into your skull and then every thought, every feeling, every memory is streamed live, twenty-four hours a day. Trust me - within a few months you'll be the most talked about person on the planet.

When David Callow is offered the lead role in a revolutionary new online show, he snatches at the opportunity.

Rapidly becoming a viral sensation, David is propelled to stratospheric levels of celebrity. However, he soon realises the downside of sharing every secret with the world.

A prisoner to both his fame and his own thoughts, David seeks to have the chip removed, only to discover the chilling secret lurking at the heart of MindCast, and the terrifying ambition the show's creator has for him'

This was a really enjoyable and mind bending read. I would maybe compare it to an episode of black mirror in that it a kind of scary dark tale of technology going too far. It is also a (much better) version of The Circle- the new film on Netflix. It explores fame, privacy and social media. I definitely recommend this if you like freaky sci-fi written in a literary style. 4/5

Awake by Natasha Preston
'Scarlett Garner doesn’t remember anything before the age of four—but a car accident changes everything. She starts to remember pieces of a past that frighten her. A past her parents hid from her…and a secret that could get her killed.'

There's not much I can say about this other than this is possibly the worst written book I've ever read.  As soon as I finished it I took to Goodreads and wrote a list of reasons it's terrible here if you are interested! 0/5

The Trouble With Women by Jacky Fleming

The Trouble With Women does for girls what 1066 and All That did for boys: it reminds us of what we were taught about women in history lessons at school, which is to say, not a lot. A brilliantly witty book of cartoons, it reveals some of our greatest thinkers' baffling theories about women. We learn that even Charles Darwin, long celebrated for his open, objective scientific mind, believed that women would never achieve anything important, because of their smaller brains.

Get ready to laugh, wince and rescue forgotten women from the 'dustbin of history', whilst keeping a close eye out for tell-tale 'genius hair'. You will never look at history in the same way again.'

I loved this! Very funny and also eye opening in terms of the real quotes from history. This a satirical look at women in history and how they have constantly been sidelined and ignored. 4/5
DC Super Powers! by Art Baltazar & Franco
'The Eisner Award-winning team behind Tiny Titans creates a new story starring the World's Greatest Super Heroes: Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman!
Aw yeah, the World's Greatest Heroes are back in a new, all-ages tale--except for Batman! Superman helps out by cleaning up in Gotham City, where he discovers a clue that sends Wonder Woman into space to find the Caped Crusader. Her journey brings her a step closer to Batman, but can she uncover the truth behind his disappearance?'

This was fun and the art was colourful but I feel it would be more fun for kids. I felt like some of the story lines were a little all over the place but there were a good selection of characters. 3/5

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