#PTurnersBookClub | #BookReview | GUILTY PLEASURES by Laurell K Hamilton @LKHamilton (October 1993)


Anita Blake is small, dark, and dangerous. Her turf is the city of St. Louis. Her job: re-animating the dead and killing the undead who take things too far. But when the city’s most powerful vampire asks her to solve a series of vicious slayings, Anita must confront her greatest fear—her undeniable attraction to master vampire Jean-Claude, one of the creatures she is sworn to destroy…

*L* review

A fellow P Turner talks about these books a lot so it didn’t come as a huge surprise when she picked it as her blog book club read for the year. As an added bonus she gave me my copy as a gift so I had no excuse not to take part.

I haven’t read a huge amount of supernatural books. The Twilight series and the first few on the Vampire Diaries is pretty much where my supernatural repertoire ends so I was intrigued to see what Anita Blake had in store.

I really really enjoyed this book. I found myself eager to read and discover what would happen between these pages. Although it is mainly about hunting vampires, there are lots of killing and deaths in Guilty Pleasures (don’t read if your squeamish), I found Anita’s sarcasm added just the right amount of humour to make it less dark than it otherwise would be. Anita is likeable and probably even relatable if you take out the whole animator/vampire killer thing, and I am sure we will get to know her a lot more and why she is who she is in future books. I definitely enjoyed her wit and sarcasm both as a narrator and a character. 

There did seem to be a huge amount of characters introduced throughout the book. I did struggle at times to keep track of who was who as you would just get your head around someone and then someone else was thrown into the mix. That being said I did get used to the names and it didn’t affect the story. I also imagine that some of the people will make appearances in future books which may make it easier to keep track as we get to know them better.

Guilty Pleasures it turns out is a club that is run by vampires. As Anita is taken there by her friend’s friend for a hen night it leads to a whole load of trouble for Anita as she tries to protect her friends, do her job as an animator and find a vampire killer whilst also trying to stay alive. I did really enjoy the killer storyline and couldn’t guess where it was leading. It’s not really a whodunnit story though so don’t pick it up expecting lots of clues but do expect a whole heap of twists and turns because it sure has that. 

This story is very different to what I would most probably pick for myself but overall I thoroughly enjoyed Guilty Pleasures and will definitely be looking for more in the series in the very near future. Can’t wait to see what other trouble Anita can find herself in.

[K] review

This book was read as part of The P Turners Book Club

As I have previously read this story of Anita Blake I knew roughly
what to expect. Despite this I still found the novel as enjoyable as
the first time I read it. In a world where vampires are real and live
amongst us Anita is a take no nonsense Animator who is also a part
time vampire slayer. In the first of this series Anita is coerced into
investigating a series of vampire murderers, which draws her
unwillingly further into the vampire world.

This book gives an intriguing insight into what the world could be if
vampires were real (or are they already real but just in hiding?) True
folklore descendants of Vlad the Impaler and Dracula, these are not
your cute and sparkly Twilight vampires, these despite appearances and
civility are the vampires of nightmares and horror stories. If book
one is a good example of the series, holding a number of characters,
human and immortal, I cannot wait to see where Anita’s story takes us

You can buy Guilty Pleasures from the following booksellers (and obviously many more! Support your local booksellers where you can!)

Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US) | Amazon (AU)

Have you read Guilty Pleasures? What did you think? Which cover have you seen? Let us know in the comments below! 🦇

#PTurnersBookClub | #BookReview | A LITTLE LIFE by Hanya Yanagihara (March 10th 2015, Picador @picadorbooks)

A LITTLE LIFE by Hanya Yanagihara
10th March 2015, Picador

When four classmates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they’re broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition.

There is kind, handsome Willem, an aspiring actor; JB, a quick-witted, sometimes cruel Brooklyn-born painter seeking entry to the art world; Malcolm, a frustrated architect at a prominent firm; and withdrawn, brilliant, enigmatic Jude, who serves as their center of gravity.

Over the decades, their relationships deepen and darken, tinged by addiction, success, and pride. Yet their greatest challenge, each comes to realize, is Jude himself, by midlife a terrifyingly talented litigator yet an increasingly broken man, his mind and body scarred by an unspeakable childhood, and haunted by what he fears is a degree of trauma that he’ll not only be unable to overcome—but that will define his life forever.

[K] Review

22.02.19 Literally just finished, I think I need some time to gather my thoughts before reviewing this one

25.02.19  I think I have had enough time now to gather my thoughts and my page and a half of review notes to give this a go.

This book was read as part of the P Turners blog book club.

I do have to say A Little Life isn’t a book I would normally pick up, I seem to live in a cave as I had never heard anything about this book or any of the fervor this book created being nominated for the Man Booker Prize. Nor is there any synopsis on the back of this book (again doesn’t encourage me to pick it up).

Without giving too much away about this book it follows the life of Jude St Francis, where we first meet him whilst he is in college. There are flashbacks to his harrowing childhood and how he was brought up and we follow him onward from college to his older years. We get to meet all the people he interacts with, good and bad, some deserving more detail than others. I felt emotionally involved in the story and characters as if he was speaking to me about his life in a journal. Speaking about his friends in such a way I very nearly googled them, to then remember these were fictional.

Whilst I have had book hangovers before despite this taking me 3 weeks to read (it is a lot of pages!) I have never felt this sense of loss I felt when finishing this story. I found I was held rapt and enslaved with the detail and depth of the writing.  This novel has taken me well out of my comfort zone and my ‘safe’ genres but will definitely be one that will stay with me.

*L* Review

This book was actually picked by S for a blog book club read and although I’m not sure I would have chosen it for myself to read, I am not one to not at least try so I got started. 

I didn’t not like this book but I struggled with the amount of words and the way it was written. Personally for me I felt that Hanya could have gotten away with a lot less description, there were points where I found myself losing interest and would drift away from the story. It certainly didn’t grip me, I found myself just wanting to get to the end by about 80%.

I also found it hard to keep track of the the timeline of events, the story would start at one point and then jump back in time to something that happened a few months before hand and then back to the starting point and I found myself not really knowing what happened when. It starts off with 4 main characters and I got the impression that the story would be based on the 4 but it seemed to then switch to all be about one particular character with narration from another at points. The other 2 became more like back ground characters although one of them does have a part that’s about him but it’s not consistent. I disliked that as I think I would have enjoyed reading about the 4 and not just the small glimpses we get. I feel that if Hanya wanted it to be about Jude then she should have left the bit based on JB out completely. It felt like a bit of a teaser and irrelevant to the rest of the book. I think I would have enjoyed it a lot more if there were more about the other characters we are introduced to. 

This book is a very hard hitting book to read. It should come with a number of trigger warnings. Depression and child abuse being the worse things that come to mind. Hanya does write about depression well and those scenes of hyenas chasing Jude came to live in a real way. I found it difficult to read the parts about Jude’s childhood and found I had to take a break several times during those parts. I feel they are needed to really understand why Jude is the way he is and some of the decisions he makes. Hanya describes the self hatred and the emotional depth of Jude’s character extremely well and those bits affected me, to hear what he has been through and continues to struggle with was very difficult.

I did feel a bit heartless when I found myself getting frustrated with Jude. I think I discovered more about myself whilst reading this book. I did quite like Jude’s character, in as much as his friends become his world and when he falls in love you can tell he does it so completely with all of his being, however there were points where I just wanted to take him by his shoulders and shake him to wake up and realise just what he has surrounding him but I guess that’s just one of the ways that depression can affect a person.

All that being said when I got close to the end of the book I did find myself getting very emotional and I realised that maybe this book had affected me a little more than I realised. One very big warning though – do not go into this book expecting a happy ending!

Overall this book will probably stay with me for just how hard hitting and difficult it was. One of the signs of a good book is a book that you find yourself thinking about without even realising and I think this will be one of those for me.

You can buy A LITTLE LIFE from the following booksellers (and obviously many more! Support your local booksellers where you can!)

Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US) | Amazon (AU)