A Christmas Carol is one of those books that I always meant and wanted to read, but I never got around to it, even though I've managed to watch the orA Christmas Carol is one of those books that I always meant and wanted to read, but I never got around to it, even though I've managed to watch the original film version each year. I'm very glad that I finally picked up a copy of this novella as it was certainly everything I expected it to be. The book felt a little more realistic to the film adaptations, yet managed to keep a real sense of magic, and therefore I do feel that this was more effective and a little more special. This is the first piece of literature that I have read by Dickens and I was surprised with how effortless it was to read, the language wasn't at all difficult and it flowed well - his writing is unique and a real pleasure to read. I particularly enjoyed reading his descriptions. Although the story isn't completely light hearted, Dickens manages to weave humour throughout. The several characters and family members that we're introduced to are well formed in a short amount of writing and you can really see a depth in them all. The transition of an old man, Scrooge, from dissatisfied and irritable into a considerate gentleman is handled in a stirring way, especially when based around the Christmas period. At a mere 100 pages, there's no excuse not to pick up this heartwarming Christmas tale. Although it isn't totally perfect or extremely 'deep', it portrays a meaningful story and it has to be the definitive Christmas Classic....more
It's really quite a risky thing to try and retell one of (if not the) most well known stories in the world, especially if you're going to put a twistIt's really quite a risky thing to try and retell one of (if not the) most well known stories in the world, especially if you're going to put a twist on it. However, I'm pleased that Gaarder did it because he managed to execute it very well. The choice of chick-lit Christmas themed stories is bountiful, and I do enjoy them, but to be able to read a different take on the original Christmas story is a rare treat. I believe this book was primarily targeted at Children, but this could certainly be classed as a family book. Gaarder shares an important story and he also incorporates some more philosophical questions in this book - infact, because of this, I'd probably recommend it more for older children, perhaps 8yrs +. The story of the birth of Christ is retold in this book, in the form of following young girl named Elisabet as she travels through different countries and time, retracing the steps of several biblical characters (sheep included), as they make their way to Bethlehem. This story as staged as a story inside another story. The protagonist, Joachim, stumbles across a magical Advent calendar in an old bookshop, and each day he opens a new window, another part of the story is revealed. Reading this book during Advent was fantastic and like Joachim and his parents, I was eager and excited for another window to be opened to see what happened next during Elisabet's journey. The Advent format of this book was really exciting and it wouldn't be a bad idea to use this book as a type of calendar itself (if you could resist reading on!). I'd urge people to pick this up for a slightly different, easy to read but interesting Christmas read....more
This was a simple yet enjoyable read. The writing is a pleasure to read, the characters are sweet and the plot is an interesting one. Although both thThis was a simple yet enjoyable read. The writing is a pleasure to read, the characters are sweet and the plot is an interesting one. Although both the Tuck family and Winnie aren't particularly deeply developed, they shine through as being lovely. The issue of immortality is the main subject of this book - Winnie is discovered by the immortal Tuck family when she is sitting by a river that flows with magical water. The way it all worked out made an effective story, but I think it could've been better by actually displaying or at least discussing both points of immortality - the good aspects and the bad, rather than just saying how it could be such a terrible thing. However, for a children's book, it was a lovely story to read and the slight romance between Jesse and Winnie was very sweet....more
I really enjoyed this book and it took me by surprise. I thought that it was wonderfully written and though the characters were not all likeable, theyI really enjoyed this book and it took me by surprise. I thought that it was wonderfully written and though the characters were not all likeable, they were well formed and developed. Though there were several characters, they all had their own personas and what happened to them was tied up well by the end of the book, though I would like to have heard more about Nan's family. Though I'm certainly not prudish and I realise this book could be classed as erotica, I think that the book would've been much better if it was toned down as the lewd phrases when Nancy was with Diana were on the brink of vulgarity at points. Part Two was my least favourite section of the book for this reason. Unfortunately I felt that such scenes distracted from the bigger picture. I found the relationship with Kitty to be written a lot better, with more tension and suspense. Set in Victorian England, a lot of issues were touched upon in this book - identity, cross dressing, gender roles, sexuality and poverty to name a few and I felt that they were dealt with well. I found the story to be captivating and the writing pulled me in from the first page. It was certainly different to other books I've read and I would be interested in reading more books by this author. ...more
I'm a little bit embarrassed to say that it took me so long to read The Hobbit - it seems like one of those books that almost everyone has read. As thI'm a little bit embarrassed to say that it took me so long to read The Hobbit - it seems like one of those books that almost everyone has read. As the film adaptation was released lately, I thought now was the time that I just had to pick it up and finally read it! It felt like a momentous occasion, reading this book for the first time and it feels difficult to review it, so I will keep this one short...
I will start off by saying that this was a strange read for me. The Hobbit is epic fantasy - something which I wouldn't normally enjoy and that I usually tend to avoid. I find epic fantasy somewhat difficult, I just can't seem to allow myself to fully submerge my mind into these worlds, to understand or enjoy them. I'm not sure whether or not it's because it's a children's book, but I immediately found myself comfortably easing into the setting and into the story. It's clear from the first page that Tolkien is a talented, natural storyteller. The writing is consistently vivid and imaginative throughout.
This is a book that has captured the attention of so many children, and reading it has shown me why. There is something truly magical about both Tolkien's world and characters. There are so many things to absorb in this novel, it as if your mind is completely taken over by this fantasy world which is full of dwarves, dragons and everything else you could possibly expect from such a land! The world building is really well done, it's so easy to see why people are captivated. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this to anyone, children especially - if something is going to open up their imagination, this is it. I'd also imagine that if this is your sort of thing, this will be a book that you'd be able to read over and over again without getting bored of the plot.
I have to be honest and say that I personally wasn't glued to the book, as aforementioned high fantasy isn't my favourite genre, but this book still had enough to hold my attention and to keep me reading. I really appreciate how clever Tolkien was and it is certainly evident through his writing. This won't be a book that I can claim as a personal favourite due to the subject matter, but it's something that I can definitely recommend and I can totally understand all of the hype surrounding it - it does deserve that for the quality of it.
Overall, although this book won't become a favourite of mine, I am very glad that I read it - It allowed me to delve into a previously disliked genre and enjoy it - it allowed my mind to run free. I am also glad to just have the opportunity to say that I have now read some of Tolkien's work. I certainly want to read the Lord of the Rings in the future and this book has made me feel a lot more comfortable about doing so. Highly recommended to those who enjoy fantasy, from children to adults and for those who would like to branch into something different but not too difficult....more
This book was simply 'alright'. I was pretty much apathetic towards it throughout. After seeing the movie, I thought that the book would be a lot moreThis book was simply 'alright'. I was pretty much apathetic towards it throughout. After seeing the movie, I thought that the book would be a lot more impressive and dramatic. Of course, the book is infact 'The String of Pearls' and is different to the film/play. I did find the scenes involving Sweeney Todd and Mrs Lovett to be intriguing and interesting but I wasn't particularly drawn in or excited by it. I think that the story could have been a lot more exciting or full of suspense. I was disappointed that Todd and Lovett's characters were not fully developed as I do think that they could be amazing characters. Although it was a decent and reasonably easy read (very easy for a classic), unfortunately it didn't live up to my expectations....more
I liked reading this book, but I can't say that I really loved it. Steinbeck is certainly talented at writing. I did enjoy this novella - the story waI liked reading this book, but I can't say that I really loved it. Steinbeck is certainly talented at writing. I did enjoy this novella - the story was short yet still fluid and effective. I found all of the characters to be well developed, not just Lennie, though he is definitely memorable. The book is rich - It features some strong themes, such as friendship, in only a few pages. I think that the fact that this book proves to be powerful in a short time is impressive. I'm finding it hard to review this book as I think that I'll come to appreciate this book the more I actually reflect on it, rather than straight after completing it - the ending is something that I particularly need to think about some more....more
This was easy enough to read for a classic and it had a very interesting concept. After about 80 pages or so and certainly during the daemon's dialoguThis was easy enough to read for a classic and it had a very interesting concept. After about 80 pages or so and certainly during the daemon's dialogue, I was really into the story and actually found it pretty difficult to put down. The story was not as horrifying or as graphic as I thought it'd be but the whole idea of who Frankenstein's monster victimizes is the scary part - imagine knowing your loved ones were at risk because of something you had created. I thought that the structure of the book was good although it certainly wasn't perfect. This was a quick enough read but Shelley managed to include a lot events and actions of both Victor and his 'experiment' to think about. A very addictive and easy to get into classic, I only wish that there was more written about the conception of the monster. ...more
The title of this book had me sold, even though it didn't give me much of an idea about what it was about, it just got me intrigued. The whole book isThe title of this book had me sold, even though it didn't give me much of an idea about what it was about, it just got me intrigued. The whole book is oddly fascinating, there's no other way for me to describe it. well written, intriguing and captivating straight from the beginning. Slaughterhouse-Five is certainly unique. The narration is brilliant and I found Billy to be someone I could just keep on listening to. He definitely wasn't perfect and he has a lot of different quirks. The plot jumps around to different places and events, introducting different people but it is not all that confusing and it actually flows together pretty well. Although I did find Billy's experiences in Dresden more interesting and effectivr than his supposed visit to Tralfamadore, I still found his alien experiences to be interesting to read about, which I wasn't expecting to enjoy. There's not much more I can say about this - it was simply very strange, but definitely in a good way....more
After leaving school, I've always put off reading classics, most probably because of all of the essays I had to write about them in English classes. HAfter leaving school, I've always put off reading classics, most probably because of all of the essays I had to write about them in English classes. However, The Great Gatsby is a classic that I did want to read due to all of the good things I've heard about it, plus as it's relatively short, the idea of picking it up wasn't so daunting. Seeing as the the latest film adaptation of The Great Gatsby is now out in the cinemas and gaining a lot of attention, I thought it was time to finally get the book off the shelf and read it!
When I first picked the book up, I only had a (very) vague idea of what it was about - well, actually, I hardly knew anything about it at all. The copy I have doesn't have a very descriptive blurb, so I basically went into the book only knowing to expect lots of 1920's glitz and glamour. Whilst there is some, this is not all fancy parties and cocktails - it's multilayered. It is hard to describe the plot of this book because it does encompass so many different things, including some more complex themes which are apparent even if you're not deeply analysing the story. The Great Gatsby is a story of passion, of sadness, of envy, of loss, of greed, of wealth of all kinds, of the American dream, or the problems facing it.
Though there is so much you could take from this novel, it never seems overwhelming. I certainly did get caught up in the 1920's, but in the best way - I found it very easy to get absorbed into the whole atmosphere of this book, it didn't take me all that long to start enjoying the story. It's very easy to follow yet it still has good complexity. The setting is very easy to imagine - from the extravagant parties at Gatsby's house, to the bleaker highways of everyday, post First World War America.
I especially enjoyed meeting all of the characters in this novel - For me, it was Gatsby himself that was certainly the most interesting, though not the most likeable character throughout. Gatsby was probably one of the most intriguing characters that I have read about. There is a depth to him that seemed never ending, there always seemed to be something else to know, another layer to peel away to get to the true Gatsby. I loved reading about his relationship with Daisy, along with his relationship with every other character, seeing how he interacted with everyone really helped us to get a little insight into who Gatsby was, or at least how he wanted to portray himself. Like aforementioned, I did really like reading about the other characters too, and I especially had a fondness for our narrator, Nick, who was perhaps the only person I could connect with, or who I (and he) felt was honest in this book. Nick was a contrast to all of the other characters, he was... just Nick. He felt like he could be any one of us, at any time, which is something amazing to achieve.
Overall, I'm glad that I finally managed to pick this book up and give it a go. I would urge anyone to pick this up - young adults, adults, those who love classics, those who haven't had much experience with them - this is a book which has, and hopefully will continue to appeal to a wide audience. I have tried to be quite vague with my review, as I think that is a positive way to go into this book - don't expect anything, just pick it up, devour and enjoy....more
This was not entirely what I expected, but I enjoyed it none the less. I thought that the book would actually be focused on Dracula himself rather thaThis was not entirely what I expected, but I enjoyed it none the less. I thought that the book would actually be focused on Dracula himself rather than the other characters. I was disappointed that the Count himself was not featured more. However, the way this book was written allowed us to focus on several other characters and the effects that he had on their lives. I thought that this book was going to be full of horror, but it was more psychological and made me feel uneasy rather than horrified. This is much more than a horror story. Although this is a classic, it's reasonably easy to follow though I did feel myself slightly lost or uninterested during small sections at the start and the end. There are a fair few characters but they are nicely developed through diary entries and they are strong. This is certainly worth a read and shows just how the whole 'obsession' with vampires begun in it's earlier stages....more
I'm quite suprised with how much I loved this book! I was scared that it was going to be totally confusing, but equipped with a family tree, it wasn'tI'm quite suprised with how much I loved this book! I was scared that it was going to be totally confusing, but equipped with a family tree, it wasn't really that difficult to follow. The book was complex, certainly in regard to the relationships, but it was extremely well done. Yes, it was dramatic, very passionate and a little paranormal but that worked for me and made it compelling. Wuthering Heights is incredibly atmospheric and I think Brontë did an incredible job of setting the scene and making me 'feel' the moors. I thought that it was beautifully written and the narrative really appealed to me. I thought that the characters were incredibly interesting and made a great impact - Heathcliff is such a fascinating character. I think that this will certainly be my favourite classic....more
Unfortunately, nothing about this book captured my attention. The last few chapters of the book were the most interesting, but still nothing that I foUnfortunately, nothing about this book captured my attention. The last few chapters of the book were the most interesting, but still nothing that I found exciting or that I was compelled to read. The characters simply didn't interest me and I couldn't connect to them. It was a very 'american' book and the writing style reminded me of that of "The Catcher in The Rye", which is certainly not a good thing to me. Not a book that I'd recommend....more
Reflecting on the several stories in this book, I did quite like them. Although I could claim Lawrence as being downright weird for writing some of thReflecting on the several stories in this book, I did quite like them. Although I could claim Lawrence as being downright weird for writing some of these, they were well written all the same. I'm not usually a fan of short stories but these were well written, descriptive and effective....more
Looking back on this book and it's storyline, it's most probably fair to say that I would probably enjoy it more now that I'm not required to analyseLooking back on this book and it's storyline, it's most probably fair to say that I would probably enjoy it more now that I'm not required to analyse it to death for english exams. I did find the characters to be strong, but I can't say that this book really captured my attention....more