Friday, 18 October 2013

BOOK CLUB TAKEOVER: Hayley from 'Tea Party Beauty'

Here are my thoughts… I LOVE hearing other people’s views and reviews on pretty much anything especially books! Some of my favourite reads are ones that have been suggested by other people. So thinking along those lines,’ The Book Club Takeover’ was born! Hopefully each week I will bring to you a post from one of my lovely and amazing fellow bloggers who will in turn share with you what their favourite book is, why they love it and a review. I hope you enjoy this feature as much as I do!
Hello. It seems a little strange saying hello to another bloggers readers, like I am cheating on my own :) I'm Hayley & I blog over at I mainly blog about beauty & the (un)interesting things that go on in my life. So if you ever pop on over you are more than likely to see beauty reviews, life updates & my general wittering. 
The lovely Gemma recently put a tweet out asking if anyone would like to do a book review of their favourite book. I got rather giddy when I saw this as I am a massive book nerd. I have over 200 books in my apartment, not to mention a kindle full too. My only problem was choosing a book. I love different types of books, but mostly ones that are real life stories dealing with the issues society faces. 
For my review I have chosen Alexander Masters - Stuart, a life backwards. I have read this book about 6 times & first picked it up shortly after it's release about 8 Years ago, each time I read this book it has me in fits of giggles & floods of tears. Each time I read it I discover something new; what more could you ask of from a book.
This is a true story written by Alexander about his time spent with Stuart over the course of a few years & how two opposite ends of society bond. What drew me in about this book is the fact it works backwards, you meet Stuart at the current time in his life & the story kind of works backwards to his childhood, explaining the way he is as an adult. At the start of the book, when Stuart is reading the first draft of the book by Alexander he dismisses it as boring, telling him to rewrite it  "Make it more like a murder mystery. What murdered the boy I was? See? Write it backwards."Although this wasn't the only element of the book that I was drawn to, Stuart has many problems in his life to tackle, disability, mental illness, homelessness & a criminal past. Exploring the age old question of 'nature or nurture'. 
This might all sound a little depressing, but I love books that give you a different view on the people you might normally judge, it opens you up & challenges your perceptions & the way you think. It also has some really heart felt moments between Alexander & Stuart, not to mention some wise words from Stuart. Plus quite a lot of swearing & funny moments. Here are a few quotes from the book, giving you an idea of the style & subject, without spoiling anything.
“I don't know, Alexander, sometimes it gets so bad you can't think of nothing better to do than make it worse.” 
“But one of Stuart's most personable (and most annoying) qualities is his refusal to judge strangers until he knows them, especially if they're peculiar.” 
“When life is this dull, you have to invent purpose. Collecting torn-up newspaper gives you a hobby, provides an anchoring intimacy with your surroundings, keeps the streets clean. Or so you think. Then one day you wake up and realise that it was all a con: what you had thought was an escape from madness was in fact the arrival.”
It is hard not to fall for Stuart, his wisdom, total disregard & the tragicness of him. He is an unlikely hero & you can see why he had such an affect on Alexander & the people he met. The book was later made into a film with Tom Hardy playing Stuart, it also won some awards. I have seen the film & have to say it is rather good, but as with most adaptations, it will never be as good as the book.
If this seems like your type of book, something that challenges your view of people, mental health & society then go get it. NOW. I cannot recommend this enough.

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