Tuesday, 22 May 2012

(17) One Day

One Day
David Nicholls

Rating: 7/10

I realised yesterday that I never reviewed this book on here. I read it a couple of months ago, I must have just missed it out. 

I love the idea of this book. The narrative returns to Dexter on the same day over 20 years (St. Swithin's day to be exact). This structure is a clever way to cover such a vast time span and a complicated relationship. Yet the execution did not live up to my expectations. 

Having such a big gap between each meeting made me feel like I was constantly playing catch-up; I didn't feel included in their lives. Some major life events happened in the gaps between ad in a normal narrative the reader would have witnessed them 'first-hand' rather than hearing about them in a conversation. Admittedly it didn't help that I knew this book had such a cult following. My expectations were just too high. 

I didn't find any of the characters overly likeable either. Some would argue that its because they are portrayed more realistically, as actual people with flaws and problems, but I found it harder to care what happened to them. 

And don't even get me started on the ending!!!! 

(16) Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian

Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian
Rick Riordan

Rating: 9/10

I know this book is probably aimed at a younger audience but I absolutely love this series! Don't worry if you've seen the film and hated it; the books are at least one hundred times better.

The series follows Percy Jackson after he finds out he is one of the sons of Poseidon and slowly learns of the Prophecy that could make or break the Gods.

All of the books are in quite a similar format so are somewhat predictable but I still thoroughly enjoyed every one of them. The characters feel real and it's nice to see a book where the main character seems to incur negative effects from practically being a modern day super-hero. He is labelled as being ADHD and dyslexic and frequently gets thrown out of schools for all the trouble he causes. It REALLY annoys me when writers pretend that the events in the book would have no impact on day to day life for the character. If you had monsters chasing you all the time concentrating in class probably would be pretty difficult..... (Rant over. Sorry!)

Anyway..... These books are very easy to read and get into. Some of the techniques are clever (Demi-God's just happen to see what is going on with their enemies while they are dreaming, hence keeping up to date on their progress. That's handy!) and the battle scenes, particularly in this book are epic.

This book can potentially appeal to anyone; it has love, war, friendship, death, magic and heroics all rolled into one. What's not to like?

Sunday, 20 May 2012

(15) The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Deborah Moggach

Rating: 8/10


N.B. This book is also known called 'These Foolish Things' just in case anyone has already read that.

The book has some of the same characters as the film but is generally quite different. It still tells the stories of a group of pensioners who have, for varying reasons, decided to move to a newly opened retirement home in India but the route their lives take is very different. 

Having a group of such a vast range of characters makes this book what it is. The relationships between the residents and their families means the story feels very real. The question of how we treat the elderly in this country makes it all the more poignant. 

My one big criticism of the book could also be taken as a compliment; it feels so real that when it ends it feels too sudden. It really could have carried on for the rest of their lives, I wanted to know what happened next (although them all dying wouldn't be much of a happy ending!). 

Either way this is a good read full of realistic characters, complex relationships and heartfelt messages. Give it a go! 

(14) The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

The Restaurant at the End of the Universe
Douglas Adams

Rating: 6/10


This is the second instalment of Douglas Adams' Hitch-hiker's 'trilogy' (even though there are five books....don't even ask!). If you've read the first book you'll know what to expect.

The series is by no means technically brilliant. The language, for instance, is pretty basic yet it is an enjoyable read. The characters (I personally LOVE Marvin) and the storyline are why you'd read this book. In some places it is laugh out loud funny, in others....well not so much.

All of the series are fairly short so I'd definitely recommend them as amusing time-killers as long as you don't expect a masterpiece. There are worse ways to spend a rainy day.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

(10-13) Quick Catch Up

Gee I'm bad at updating this!!! Sorry about that....

I'm really behind now so here is a very quick rundown of the books I've read since I last posted and what I would give them out of 10:

(10) When God Was A Rabbit (9/10)

(11) The Diary of a Murder (5/10)


(12) Handmaid's Tale (7/10)

(13) The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (7/10)

Monday, 9 April 2012

(9) Room

Emma Donoghue

Rating: 8/10

Date Finished: 18/03/12

Room is narrated by a 5 year old boy, instantly attracting my attention. Books with such naive narrators are often far more interesting in my opinion; To Kill a Mockingbird and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime are two prime examples. Having a child narrator means a lot of the deeper issues are only hinted at allowing the reader to take as much (or as little) from the book as they want, plus we often learn what is going on at the same time as our narrator does, our shock or confusion is often mirrored in them.

This is all definitely true with Room. Jack turns five at the start of the story and we learn about his daily life in Room, where he has spent his life, along with his Ma. It is slowly revealed to us the series of events that led to this, which I'm not going to spoil for you, although it is fairly transparent; I guessed the general plot within the first ten pages.

Never the less, Donoghue's story telling is superb, her insight into the mind of such an insular character is quite remarkable. Room probably would have had a higher rating if my attention span had have been a bit longer. The pace can be pretty slow at times, which is to be expected based on the book's concept, but still....I got bored!

I'd still recommend this to anyone with an attention span longer than a gnat though.

(8) Mockingjay

Suzanne Collins

Rating:  8/10

Date Finished:  13/03/12


Sorry for being MIA recently...been a strange couple of weeks. BUT I have still been reading. The final instalment of the Hunger Games was an obvious choice for my next book, especially with all the hype the run-up to the film was creating.

So what did I think of it? Honestly it is probably my least favourite of the three books but it's still a must read for any fans. The story follows Katniss' crucial (if somewhat unwilling) part in the campaign against the Capitol. Pretty much all the loose ends are wrapped neatly up, as well as some completely unexpected twists.

Yet this isn't a happy book...there are some brief glimpses of joy but I finished it feeling quite depressed (anyone who has read it should understand why).

But no matter what I say, if you've read the other two books, the chances are you aren't going to be put off. Go on, read it...you now you want to!