Sunday, 11 March 2012

(7) Before I Go To Sleep

Before I Go To Sleep
SJ Watson

Rating: 7.5/10

Date Finished: 10/03/12

This book has a lot of hype surrounding it and to be honest I think that's what lets it down. It is a thoroughly interesting concept, for those of you who haven't heard about it the basic plot is this; a woman wakes up each morning with no idea where she is or who it is she is in bed with. It is soon revealed that there was an accident and she had developed a very complicated type of amnesia. This story is about how that has ruined her life and the struggles of trying to rebuild what is left of it.

The use of a journal both as a means of creating the storyline and also of telling it is very clever (You'll understand what I mean if you read it) and up until a point I thought the story-telling was brilliant. Then I got to the end. A few people have recommended this book to me, remarking on the brilliant twist at the end, yet I found the ending to be the least revolutionary part of the entire book. I thought it was fairly predictable and not particularly in tune with the rest of the story. The tone went from subtle yet intense to full on action packed within one chapter. I just didn't think that was necessary.

Although I did really enjoy the novel, I'm slightly let down, particularly after the rave reviews. SJ Watson should have had the courage to let the message of the book shine through, without making it into something so formulaic . It's still one to put on your reading list though!

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

(4-6) The Shiver Trilogy

Shiver, Linger and Forever
Maggie Stiefvater

Rating: 8/10

Date Finished: 02/03/2012, 04/03/2012 and 6/03/2012

I can't deny how many similarities there are between these books and others in the genre but I really enjoyed this trilogy, possibly more so than the others (aka Twilight). The basic story revolves around a werewolf Sam, and a should-have-been-a-werewolf Grace. Obviously they fall madly in love and chaos ensues. Pretty standard. Will Grace's parents allow them to be together? Can Sam overcome his destiny for the girl he loves etc etc.

Although this may sound cliched, the three books are all incredibly well told, the constant change in narrator keeps the story telling fresh and dynamic while the love between the two main characters is enviable. It seems genuine and you can't help but hope it survives. The female is arguably the stronger of the pair, meaning she doesn't completely fall to pieces for months on end every time her boyfriend walks out of the room (aka Twilight). 

In my opinion, these books are worth a read, they look quite long, (about 400 pages each) but have nice short chapters and are easy to get through. Pure escapism.

(3) I Am What I Am.

I Am What I Am
John Barrowman

Rating:  7/10

Date Finished: 1/03/2012

I have a confession to make... I am in love with John Barrowman!!! OK now that's out there I can continue. It physically hurts only giving this a 7, it should be full marks just for being by him. But unfortunately the book doesn't quite live up to its subject. Here's why....

The style of the writing is just messy. That's the only way I can describe it. The focus goes from one anecdote to another like a stream of consciousness which is fine, but more often than not the next story starts halfway the previous one, hence making it easy to forget what was originally being said. Although the actual content is usually very funny, Captain Jack Harkness riding a rickshaw for example, the flow, or lack of, is pretty distracting.

What it comes down to it this; if you're a big fan of John, you should be able to see past a lot of this and appreciate the witty insights into his life. If you're not, the chances are this book will drive you crazy.

Being such a huge fan and all it just scraped a 7.

Sorry John! I still love you!