Freak Like Me, a review

Freak Like Me by Hannah O’Donnell is a super short read at around 10 pages. I couldn’t resist picking it up on my Kindle for 99p, especially considering I’ve read two other books from O’Donnell this year and really enjoyed them. The author also happens to be Hannah from LadetteM, one of my lovely bookish friends!

This short story is set in a world where each person has an animal familiar which turns up not long after birth. Our main character’s parents both have birds as their familiars. But hers? Hers is a python.

This is a story about judgement, about fitting in, and about being true to yourself. It’s is written absolutely beautifully and my one and only complaint is that it wasn’t longer! I would absolutely adore a full story based in this world and with Hannah’s gorgeous writing.

On CAWPILE I rated this: Characters: 7, Atmosphere: 8, Writing: 8, Plot: 9, Intrigue: 9, Logic: 8, and Enjoyment: 8 to give it an 8.14 score and a 4.5* rating.

Highlight here for trigger warnings: snakes, bullying.

This has just solidified for me that I really do love Hannah’s storytelling and I’m so excited to read whatever she publishes next. Have you ever read anything written by her, and if not… you should! Try out this tiny short story and see what you think!

Piranesi, a review

Well this is a coincidence in timing. Piranesi by Susanna Clarke was lent to me by my wonderful Mother-in-Law, and it’s also the first review that I’m writing after she passed away last Thursday after a 20 year battle with cancer.

Fuck cancer.

She told me that this was one of the weirdest little books that she’d read, but that she really enjoyed it and she hoped I would too. And I’m so glad that I did. It’s actually become one of my favourites, and since she’s passed on her copy now belongs to me. It’s a memento of her I’ll always cherish.

This book was absolutely fantastic. I was utterly utterly confused for the vast majority of the book, but so curious also to find out how this was going to cumulate and where these strings were all leading. Clarke does a brilliant job at explaining the world from our POV character’s limited perspective, meaning that we knew almost everything that he did (although some was still revealed through the story as normal), but our POV didn’t know nearly enough and gradually realised that he didn’t know everything. A very unique viewpoint to read from.

It’s an incredibly unusual book and it’s also such an intriguing discussion on the world and on our perspective on reality. How the worlds inside our own minds are so drastically different from those who we see every day, and yet hold so many similarities. And how what we believe is reality, might not be.

I write notes for all of my reviews, so that if I’m behind on writing them up (like now) I can go into a little more depth. My last bullet point here is that I was really excited to discuss the book with my partner’s mum. And I did, it wasn’t very long or in depth, but we were able to talk about the book a little and I’m so glad she knew that I enjoyed it.

Separate from my own links to the book, I do highly recommend that you pick this up. On CAWPILE I rated it: Characters: 9, Atmosphere: 10, Writing: 9, Plot: 9, Intrigue: 10, Logic: 9, and Enjoyment: 10 which gives a score of 9.43 and of course a rating of 5*s.

This is a stand out book that I think a lot of people will enjoy and get something from. If you’ve been tempted to pick it up? Go for it!

Highlight here for trigger warnings: attempted murder, cults, drowning, emotional abuse, kidnapping, gun violence, skeletons [end].

The Annual Migration of Clouds, a review

I requested this audiobook on a whim, I wasn’t even supposed to be browsing NetGalley (who provided the audiobook for free in return for an unbiased review) but here I was and when I spotted this cover I knew I was going to request to read it!

In The Annual Migration of Clouds by Premee Mohamed we follow a young woman who has received an invitation to leave her small community to travel to a prestigious school. However, the novella is set in a post-apocalyptic world where some people are infected by “Cad” (although they’re still able to live almost normal lives… to a point) and climate disasters have ruined the land so people struggle to get by.

Reid wants to go, but she’s worried about those she leaves behind. How will her mother cope with the infection as she gets older? How will her childhood best friend be now that he’s lost all of his family and friends? How will they harvest the crops and do all the tasks that are usually meant for her? And to top it all of her mother doesn’t want her to go.

This little book was absolutely fantastic. I blasted through the audiobook in two sittings (only taking a break because I was listening to it at work and took my lunch break!) and adored it. I think the narrator does a great job at inflicting each character with their own personality and emphasising just the right point in sentences. I definitely want to read more from Premee Mohamed and I’m also here for listening to more audiobooks narrated by Eva Tavares!!

Mermaids with a Dark Past

The Deep by Rivers Solomon is a book that I’m mad I didn’t hear about sooner. Inspired by a song from Clipping for the “We Are In The Future” of This American Life (I had never heard of it before, blame me being British), this book follows the water-breathing descendants of African enslaved women who were tossed overboard from ships. They have built up their own society deep beneath the waves, but they don’t interact with their past. One individual holds all of the memories for their people, and we follow Yetu as she tries to cope with these traumatic memories invading her head since she was young.


This is a short story, at only 166 pages, but it packs a heck of a punch. Talking in an indirect way about the intergenerational trauma that Black people in the US face and how this can weigh too heavily on one individual.

Yetu, our protagonist, is just a young girl and yet the Wajinru have made her become the holder of all of these memories. She can feel them inside of her at all times and it hurts. I enjoyed seeing Yetu coming to find herself, with this being done surprisingly in depth considering the short length of the book.

I also really liked lots of the small details, like the Wajinru speaking using vibrations and scales rather than above-surface methods that you can figure out all too easily wouldn’t work if you stick your head under water and try to talk. The way in which the Wajinru came to be is also explored, I love the story of survival and how within the realms of fantasy it could actually make sense.

All in all this was an amazing book and one I urge you to pick up. It was a clear five stars for me and I look forward to reading more from Rivers Solomon and seeing what else they publish!