I’ve had What Alice forgot on my wishlist for quite a long time after seeing it on lots of blogs. So when it came up as the Kindle Daily Deal recentlyI’ve had What Alice forgot on my wishlist for quite a long time after seeing it on lots of blogs. So when it came up as the Kindle Daily Deal recently I snapped it up.
I wasn’t expecting some great life changing read, but I was expecting something quick and easy, with a decent amount of emotion- it seemed like the perfect book to read alongside The Virgin Suicides (which I will be reviewing later this week). In that sense I did get what I expected, but it was a bit more chick-litty than I expected. There was more of a love element than I had really expected, and whilst I liked Nick I didn’t think that would be what Alice would have been most focused on in real life. After all she forgot her kids but still had to look after them! Surely that would be of more importance to her.
I did like the characters, especially Alice’s Great-Grandmother.
I would say this is an enjoyable read, but don’t go into it expecting a lot of substance....more
I did prefer the first Irv's Odyssey book to this one. I can't really put my finger on why. I think maybe a little less happened, but I also didn't liI did prefer the first Irv's Odyssey book to this one. I can't really put my finger on why. I think maybe a little less happened, but I also didn't like Irv so much in this book. He seemed a little self-centred in this one, especially towards the end. He makes a big thing of having morals, and debates things with himself but doesn't really seem to listen to his own debates!v He was more decisive in this book however, it's almost as if he has gone in the opposite direction, rather than debating with little action he is focusing on the action. The author did explain that the visual hallucinations/disturbances would be more understandable in this book when I had trouble with them in the last book. He was right. They were still a little confusing but they made more sense- and I can see that they were set up to have a significance in the final book....more
After loving Middlesex, the first book I read by Eugenides, I added The Virgin Suicides to my wishlist. It wasn't something that had really appealed tAfter loving Middlesex, the first book I read by Eugenides, I added The Virgin Suicides to my wishlist. It wasn't something that had really appealed to me before, it sounded a bit depressing to be honest. I had heard that it was good but it took another book by him to make me actually want to read it.
It wasn't really that disturbing however. In fact the actual suicides took up only a tiny fraction of the books. They still weren't exactly the most pleasant thing to read about but they were more upsetting from their consequences than for themselves.
It's not really a story about the girl's suicides as such. It's an important factor, but really it's about a community. Everyone seems to be obsessed with the sisters, even before the suicides start. There's a sort of shared experience there, with everyone wanting to know as much about the girls as they can, and sharing all the knowledge they have.
There is a certain element of how the suicides effect the family, and the wider community, but the incidents are never really looked into in that great a detail. There is some wondering about why the suicides happened, but once a theory is suggested everyone just seems to go with it, even though it never really fully explains why what happened happened.
I did enjoy The Virgin Suicides. It still had the same beauty of writing, but I didn't enjoy it as much as Middlesex. Maybe because I didn't really feel I got to know the characters that well. I felt I got to know them in the same way as you might get to know someone who you see everyday, and might speak to, but isn't your friend. Maybe that was Eugenides intention seeing as that was how the boys knew the girls really....more
I love, love, loved Mark Forsyth's previous book The Etymologicon. So much so that I had to make a second post just to talk about all the words I tweeI love, love, loved Mark Forsyth's previous book The Etymologicon. So much so that I had to make a second post just to talk about all the words I tweeted about whilst reading it. I was super excited to read The Horologicon, and had planned to buy it when I went to a Mark Forsyth event which was meant to be last week (but was cancelled because apparently people in Birmingham don't appreciate words *sob*), however when I saw it up on netgalley I snatched it up right away.
Maybe my expectations were too high but I didn't like it as much.I think partially because it was in much bigger blocks. You couldn't pick it up, read a paragraph and put it down again. That made it less tweetable, and also made it less easy to remember the words and information.
Maybe because it was on a less broad topic I found less of the words really interested me too, although I did tweet a couple which interested me. I did find I was telling other people about what I was reading rather than tweeting it because that broke my reading flow less. My boyfriend claimed that Forsyth made half the book up, but I think he's (my boyfriend) just being cynical.
I like the idea that you could skip between chapters depending on what time of the day it was, but it's not very realistic. I did find occasionally my reading fit with what I was doing- and I think the experience was improved by that.
If you liked The Etymologicon you will probably like this one too, but if you haven't read either I would recommend The Etymologicon over this one....more
It's taken me quite a while to get around to reviewing this book. It's the first I've read about Japanese living in allied countries during World War TIt's taken me quite a while to get around to reviewing this book. It's the first I've read about Japanese living in allied countries during World War Two, I read a lot of WW2 fiction but most of it is based in the UK or Germany. Part of what I liked about it was how it seemed to show that it wasn't just the Nazis who discriminated. Not that the prison camps were anything compared to German concentration camps, but that people were treated as enemies just because they were of Japanese heritage.
Some of the story was interesting. The atmosphere of the camps was well written, and you could imagine what horrible places they were to live in. The actual events that happened in the camp seemed a bit much though. I am not debating whether or not those types of things may or may not have happened but it seems a lot for one person to be involved in. I almost got the sense that Littleford couldn't make enough of one story so decided to knit a few together.
If that was indeed what she did the stories were linked fairly well, but made the 'secret' somewhat predictable. My only doubts when it came to what I thought the secret was came from having been told early on that something else was the answer to what had happened.
At the time I rather enjoyed this book, but having waited to write my review, and starting Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet since have slowly worn down my opinion. I am glad I read it because I wouldn't have known to read Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet without it, and it opened my eyes to less told stories.
However I didn't really get that strong a sense of how it felt to be Japanese at that time. This novel started off being historical, but became a mystery somewhere along the line and I would rather have just had a historical novel.
Oh and the whole way through I did not like the cover, the girl on the front is just too young looking. It's not something that would have stopped me picking it up however. ...more
Reservation Road was less of a thriller than I had really expected from the synopsis. There was a certain element of one man trying to find his son'sReservation Road was less of a thriller than I had really expected from the synopsis. There was a certain element of one man trying to find his son's killer, and another man trying to hide, but that was only a very minor element of the story when it came down to it. In fact the synopsis made me want to read the book less than I would have if it was presented in the way I read it. This was a story of loss, and of love. Initially the loss of Josh and how it effects his family- particularly his parents. You can really imagine how his parents may feel, and although you see different perspectives from the family they don't really hold together, which increases the sense that the family are falling apart, individually and as a unit. Sometimes I found myself almost wanting to shout at them to get their acts together because being able to see inside all their thoughts made you know that they could help each other if they tried. Indeed that they had the capacity to help one-another. On the other side you see Dwight. A man terrified of loosing his own son who he as just started establishing a new relationship with after some time in prison and a split from his son's mother. Dwight is so scared that something will go wrong, and he searches for love from his son. I think that is part of the reason that he drove on after hitting Josh- he fears he will loose his son all over again. It was quite clever how Burham Schwartz made you feel sympathetic for Dwight rather than angry at him for hiding. I think I preferred the story of Josh's family, but Dwight's story was compelling enough to want to read. Corsair have also sent me the sequel to Reservation Road (Northwest Corner) to review. I am unsure of how wise a sequel is as Reservation Road feels like a stand-alone novel, however I am interested to see. ...more
I’ve been putting off this review a little, mainly because I’m confused as how to categoriseThis review was originally posted on Lucybird's Book Blog
I’ve been putting off this review a little, mainly because I’m confused as how to categorise it. Irv H. Podolsky isn’t actually a real person, but he is the alter-ego of a person who is involved in the film industry- whose name is a secret. So is it an autobiography? A novel with autobiographic content? Or just the imagining of a creative mind? I wasn’t even sure how to approach it as a reader, but I’m going to review it as a novel.
I liked the tone of this book a lot. Irv’s voice was very believable and conversational. Actually his tone reminded me a lot of Lucy in the Sky, or maybe the setting has biased me?
As far as a drug culture and psychedelic elements were concerned, honestly I didn’t notice them a great deal. Irv did seem to be smoking weed a lot, or sometimes complaining that he couldn’t but it was more in the story than part of it, like a smoker would light a cigarette, it had n real significance.
There was also only one scene I would really call psychedelic, and that didn’t really fit in with the story either. There were also times where Irv talked about seeing lines and feeling spaced out, but they just made me want to tell him he needed migraine treatment- they sounded so similar to my migraine experiences!
It didn’t really matter to me whether there was a psychedelic/drug element to the story however, so finding little of it didn’t disappoint me.
When I decided to read this book I did think I would find the porn section most interesting. Not because I wanted to read something erotic (I wouldn’t imagine behind the scenes in porn is actually that erotic) but because I was interested to see how someone outside his comfort zone would cope with it. I think that was covered well, and the (possible) social and technical sides of porn were interesting to read about. Poor Irv though, it really wasn’t the place for him.
So that’s how he ended up working mental hospital- something he never intended to do. In the end this was actually the bit I found most interesting. It was rather sad in a way to read about these ‘kids’. Especially as a lot of those who cared for them didn’t really seem to want to be there. I think it was my psychological background which made this part of the novel most interesting for me- although it contained little real psychology.
I can certainly identify with this book. I can think of few of my university friends who are now in graduate jobs which they trained for, and most of those who are needed further training. Whilst I love my job it’s certainly not what my aim was when I went to uni- I’m still working up to that masters!
Overall I did enjoy the book, and I would be interested to read at least the next book in the series To the Light and Beyond
One little warning I would give is that this book does contain a lot of sex, it’s not very graphic but those who don’t like sex in books may not enjoy that element....more
I enjoyed this book more than I expected to. I did expect to enjoy it, but I also expected it to have a little less real substance.
It was an easy readI enjoyed this book more than I expected to. I did expect to enjoy it, but I also expected it to have a little less real substance.
It was an easy read. The chapters were split up between different characters which gave you different sides of the story. The voices seemed pretty authentic to me, and I found I really felt like I was having a conversation most of the time. The only real problem was that I found I liked all the characters, sometimes against my better judgement, except where they didn't get their own voice. Maybe this just shows how well written the voices were but it does also suggest a lack of variety.
Sometimes I did find Riley to be a bit of an idiot. She made some rather shaking decisions. But I liked her and wanted everything to work out ok. I just wished she would take someone's advice once in a while.
I didn't like the synopsis given by the publisher, which is why I have used one from goodreads. It suggested the story had less depth than it really does and is certainly less compelling than the one from goodreads. I can see it appealing to a wider audience, but it is a bit spoilerish....more
I was a little sceptical about reading Bright Young Things after recent disappointments from Scarlett Thomas. However it was (and still is actually) oI was a little sceptical about reading Bright Young Things after recent disappointments from Scarlett Thomas. However it was (and still is actually) only 20p for the kindle so I thought why not.
Maybe because I didn’t have the expectations I usually have when it comes to Scarlett Thomas I actually enjoyed it quite a lot.
I wouldn’t call the Bright Young Things bright exactly. They were clever in terms of learning or bookish knowledge if you want, but they were a little nieve about the situation in general. I know it’s not exactly a ‘normal’ situation but they just seemed to treat it like a holiday. Surely if you woke up on a random island, with no idea how you had got there, or why you would try and find out, wouldn’t you? Or try and get away? They only really make the most basic of attempts at either of those things.
I worked out certain twists in the tale quicker than they did too, but I suppose fear could have an effect on that.
It was an enjoyable book however, although it took a while to really get going. The beginning was interesting, and towards the end it ot exciting but in the middle I did get a little bored....more
I have a strange compulsion when it comes to Jodi Picoult books that means I have to read them as soon as I get my hands on them, so despite the factI have a strange compulsion when it comes to Jodi Picoult books that means I have to read them as soon as I get my hands on them, so despite the fact I already had bookmarks in Expose, The Good Angel of Death, and Kavalier and Clay, oh and have only read Part 1 of 1Q84, I still had to start Lone Wolf when I bought it a couple of weeks ago.
Picoult is easy to read though so it doesn’t give that much of an interruption to your reading. In fact it’s part of what I like about her writing, it’s easy to read, and the plot really draws you in, but it still has some substance.
As with all of Picoult’s books the chapters are broken up between different characters. I didn’t really enjoy the Luke chapters so much, maybe because they weren’t a part of the main plot, but I did think they were important. How can you really have an opinion on whether a person would want their life support turned off or not if you only know that person third hand? It was interesting in it’s own way, and I did feel a got to know Luke well enough to think I would know what he wanted. However there was always a part of me waiting for his chapters to end.
I cared more for his kids really, and I couldn’t really decide who I wanted to be able to make the decision, although I did know what I wanted the decision to be. From that I should have been able to pick one of the kids to win but I cared about them both too much to want either of them to loose. It’s not something Picoult has ever really done before and I liked that perspective.
However I did feel in some way that elements of the story were added just to bulk the story out. Sometimes I didn’t really feel they added that much to the main plot, but that the main plot in itself may not have been enough to make a whole story.
I did enjoy Lone Wolf a lot, but it’d not my favourite Picoult....more
I’ve read a version of The Brother’s Grimm fairytales before, for The Rory List. The collection (as with most) was not complete and I really saw whatI’ve read a version of The Brother’s Grimm fairytales before, for The Rory List. The collection (as with most) was not complete and I really saw what it was lacking from reading Pullman’s collection. Grimm Tales does not contain all of the fairy tales told by The Brother’s Grimm however it does highlight a number of stranger and/or less well known tales. I particularly liked the story of the bird, the sausage and the mouse, just for how absurd it was, although in terms of strangeness of story it probably wasn’t the strangest of all, more it just had the most unlikely characters.
Pullman tried to keep the tales as close as he could to how they had originally been recorded by The Brother’s Grimm but he did change a few things for clarity and flow and I found them easier to read than the former version I had read. Pullman also added little commentaries on each text where he talked about the stories, how they linked to other stories in folklore, things which had been said about the stories, and about how the Brother’s Grimm had already come across them. I felt this really added something to the stories and I found the commentary interesting to read.
I wouldn’t really recommend reading Grimm Tales in the way that I did, i.e. as a book rather than as individual stories. It’s probably better to dip in and out. At first (as you could probably tell from my twitter feed) I was really into it and commenting on pretty much every story. However after a while things began to get a bit samey and I started to loose interest.
In a way though reading all the stories together did help me see parallels which was quite interesting, and also helped the different end of tales information join together nicely when Pullman refereed to previous or future tales.
I would recommend this book but maybe wait for the paperback, or at least don’t try to read it all at once....more
I had a bit of a love-hate relationship with this book. There were times near the beginning where everything was very slow and I thought I might justI had a bit of a love-hate relationship with this book. There were times near the beginning where everything was very slow and I thought I might just give up. Towards the middle I kept expecting it to end, although by this point I was much more interested and didn’t really want it to end, there was just something about parts of the middle which felt like the end was coming, even though I knew I’d only read around about half the book. Towards the end I wanted to do nothing but read it. I started a new paperback but only read a few pages because I wanted to read this one. I had to force myself to stop when reading on my lunch break so I wouldn’t be late back to work.
I can’t really tell you what happened towards the middle which made it more interesting. Technically there was really no more plot, and the plot didn’t drastically change, I think maybe I just began to feel more about the characters, and that made me anticipate things which I saw as being inevitable- which in itself made me want to find out what would happen next. I wasn’t always 100% correct in my assumptions however which stopped the novel from becoming predictable.
There was a point in the middle where I became rather confused actually, and a point at the end, but to say more would only serve to spoil. Certainly an atmosphere of Victorian London is built up very well, you can almost see it, smell it, touch it, taste it. In terms of showing a place, and building at atmosphere it’s got to be one of the best novels I’ve read. Don’t go expecting something sanitized, everything is described in great detail.
My main problem actually is that the ending felt rather abrupt, which really doesn’t seem to fit for a novel which is almost 1000 pages long, surely a few extra pages would be no problem?...more
It’s taken me a little while to get around to actually writing this review so I don’t remember the story perfectly clearly, however I will do my best.It’s taken me a little while to get around to actually writing this review so I don’t remember the story perfectly clearly, however I will do my best.
I enjoyed this story, it was pretty easy read but I don’t think it lost any thrill or quality from that. The chapters were split up into chapters narrated by Max and by Sarah so you could see two sides of the story. That is up until the moment of Sarah’s disappearance. It was quite clever how Sarah’s voice just stopped. It makes the reader sure that Max’s conviction that Sarah is dead is correct, but you still hope he is wrong.
You really feel as if you know the characters, and as such there is a certain level of inevitability....more
I was ridiculously excited to get this book from netgalley. I’ve read and really enjoyed the rest of Kate Morton’s novels. The idea of getting this onI was ridiculously excited to get this book from netgalley. I’ve read and really enjoyed the rest of Kate Morton’s novels. The idea of getting this one early, and for free was pretty much awesome.
In a way it’s like a Kate Morton book which was written just for me. There was the usual intrigue and secrecy, which kept me thinking. Less of the whole gothic nature (which is something I really enjoy in Morton’s books, I love me a bit of gothic fiction), but still enough to satisfy me. Plus the historical sections are set during the second world war, the world wars are the time I tend to turn to when reading historical fiction. So it’s like two of my favourite types of books built into one A book that makes me think and a book set during an era I’m interested in.
Seriously though this book did really make me puzzle. I kept thinking I’d cracked it, even to the point that I thought the story was more or less finished when I was only halfway. It just kept throwing up new twists, or new things kept being discovered.
Even now, several hours after having finished the book it’s still running through my head. There are those little loose ends that don’t really matter in the grand scheme of things, but still keep you wondering. I imagine it’s the type of thing which annoys some readers, but I like it. It’s something which makes a book stick with you, even after you’ve finished it.
The ending completely threw me. It was not what I expected in any of my imaginings. It was the perfect ending though. Maybe not a happy ending in all ways but the best possible ending. It brought a smile to my face.
There is little more I can say without giving away spoilers, but I certainly recommend this book. Has to be my favourite Kate Morton to date....more
The Report is based on a real life incident where almost 200 people were crushed to death as they entered the tube station at Bethnal Green to shelterThe Report is based on a real life incident where almost 200 people were crushed to death as they entered the tube station at Bethnal Green to shelter from an air raid during the second world war. Although only one character is based on a real person (the writer of the report into the disaster) most of the factors which contributed to the disaster are based on facts.
The factor which was fictional is written well to fit into the real events which surround it. As a reader you can see how it might have been true.
There is little I can really say without giving away the secrets included in this book but it does keep you guessing almost right up to the end. It is possible to work things out by yourself although as a reader you cannot work out exactly how events would pan out.
There is a certain sense that Kane could have made more out of what she turns into a major contributing factor, most of what is interesting about it is waiting for the ‘facts’ to be revealed. Why that factor came about however stays somewhat of a mystery and I would have been interested to find out more about it.
Having said that the text is rather emotive and it made me want to find out more about the disaster....more
I've heard a lot of good things about Boy A (which was Trigell's first novel) so when Genus wThis review was originally posted on Lucybird's Book Blog
I've heard a lot of good things about Boy A (which was Trigell's first novel) so when Genus was sent to for review I thought why not? I've not actually read Boy A so I don't know if it's worth of the praise it has received but knowing about it probably did heighten my expectations a little when it came to reading Genus.
At first I really can't say I was much of a fan. The chapters kept jumping from character to character- sometimes with a heading to say which character's point of view you were seeing, but not always, which made things a little confusing. Plus at first there seemed to be few links between the characters which felt like I was reading lots of little stories based in the same world, this just added to the confusion. However as the story progressed the stories seemed to intertwine which reduced the confusion- in fact by the time all was revealed the only confusion I felt was the confusion I imagine the reader was meant to feel. That is the confusion about the murderer. Tone wise Genus reminded me quite a lot of Super Sad True Love Story, which wasn't really a bonus because I had been rather disappointed by that one, so it didn't really build good associations. There were certain parallels in the novels too. Both set in a dystopian future which have a certain basis in reality that suggests that everything might come true.
Genus definitely has more meat to it though. The future presented is more scary. The idea of being a lower class just because you hadn't been a designed child. The vicious circle of it all, the Unimproved couldn't get the good jobs, so they couldn't pay for their children to be Improved so if they had children they were condemning them to the same fate. The laws that were meant to protect the Unimproved just made it easier to know who was Unimproved and therefore discriminate against them.
We see this future through different eyes. Some Improved, some not. There's a suggestion that even life for the Improved is not fantastic, but that nobody would want to be Unimproved, if if they were lucky when it came to natural gene selection. Mainly we follow Holman, an Unimproved of the most obvious type. A midget with legs which do not work as they should, and who is old for his age. In ways he is lucky, he has a natural talent for art which may one day get him out of The Kross, born to an Unimproved, but rich and beautiful mother who is happy to support him. But Holman seems entangled in the murders, is he next to go, or could he even be the murderer?
By the end I just wanted to find everything out, but to be honest most of the time I found I just wanted the story to be over already, it was only in about the last 30% of the book that I started actually getting interested, and the last 10% was pretty riveting. If you're in for the long haul you may enjoy Genus, but I didn't find the last section really made up for the rest. ...more
This book was not what I expected. Maybe partly because I hadn’t re-read the synopsis before I started reading the actual book (although that is onlyThis book was not what I expected. Maybe partly because I hadn’t re-read the synopsis before I started reading the actual book (although that is only usually something I do if I can’t decide what to read. It wasn’t that the book was bad, it’s just it really didn’t reach it’s full potential. I expected much more about Daniel, and his reasoning behind the murder, and that was the part I was really interested in. Actually the whole Daniel thin felt like it had been skimmed over and the focus was much more on Leo and the effect the case had on him and his family. It’s not even that I didn’t find the Leo side of things interesting I did, especially after the main event happened, but it pretty much made the fact that a child was involved in the case pointless. There was a certain crime/mystery element but I would it rather predictable, so really that’s didn’t keep me hooked. It was an easy read however, and interesting enough to keep me reading....more
The Time Keeper has everything you would expect from Mitch Alborn, a bit of sadness, a bitThis review was originally written for Lucybird's Book Blog
The Time Keeper has everything you would expect from Mitch Alborn, a bit of sadness, a bit of thoughtfulness, a feel good ending and the ability to move.
At first I wasn't that keen. It wasn't bad. I just felt that more could have been made of how 'Father Time' invented time. In fact I barely even saw it as him inventing time.
One the more modern side of the story got going however my interest increased. I had a bit of a love hate relationship with the teenage girl. She was naive, and a bit of a drama queen, but I understood her. She seemed like a real teenager (and not the 'popular' type girls you so often get in books and films.
I didn't like the old man at all though. He was so self-centred, even when it came to the ones he supposedly loved.
I think maybe it was good to have a hate element to those two characters however, it made the feel good element better.
What was best however was when Father Time came to our modern world. It was interesting to see the world through his eyes, and it was when the book really got going.
If you're a fan of Alborn you should enjoy this one, and you may be interested if you are a fan of historical fiction too. If you're not sure at first it is worth the perseverance....more
I very much enjoyed The End of Mr Y by Scarlett Thomas, and her next novel, Pop Co, is one of my favourites. However I was disappointed by Our TragicI very much enjoyed The End of Mr Y by Scarlett Thomas, and her next novel, Pop Co, is one of my favourites. However I was disappointed by Our Tragic Universe. When I saw Going Out in the shops I was excited but I didn't immediately feel the need to buy it as I had with Our Tragic Universe, not because it didn't sound interesting, but because I didn't want another let down.
I can't exactly say Going Out was a let down, but I think that was more due to the fact that I didn't go into it expecting something as fantastic as Pop Co. However it certainly didn't reach p to the levels of Pop Co. or even The End of Mr Y.
It did interest me, but it really took a long time to get going. Most of the time it was just a story of a girl who worked in a pizza place and was scared of everything. I didn't even feel a particular affinity with her character. The most I can say for it was that there was a certain coming of age novel feel to it.
Once the journey got started I did begin to get interested, mainly because I wanted to see if things would work, or how. Even that though was not that fantastic. It was a little anti-climatic.
I will still read Scarlett Thomas' latest offering, Bright Young Things, but I have a feeling she has passed her peak....more
A while ago I read a review of Charlotte Street on Ellie's blog; Curiosity Killed the Bookworm. Ellie loved Charlotte Street and I just had to add it to my wishlist. Well the other week I managed to get myself stuck in Waterstone's. I had intended just to browse. I told myself I could buy two books from the buy one get one half-price selection, but only if one was from The Rory List. I didn't see any books from the Rory list in that selection so I decided to leave. Unfortunately when I reached the door I saw that the rain was coming down like a Monsoon. I mean, I couldn't go out in that could I? So I was stuck in Waterstone's, and my will-power was wearing down...I had no choice. So I came out with Charlotte Street and Scarlett Thomas' Going Out. Both books on my wishlist, neither on The Rory List.
Anyway this is meant to be a review, right? Not the story of how I got forced to buy books!
Charlotte Street was one of those books that made me both sad and satisfied to have finished. It's been a long time since I last got this feeling from finishing a book. I wanted it to carry on, even though I knew it had definitely reached a conclusion.
I liked the characters, especially Dev. I quite often thought they were idiots but that just made them more realistic. Jason was certainly the flawed hero- if you can call someone whose behaviour borders on stalker-ish a hero! He did sometimes doubt whether he should be behaving the way he was, but there was always a friend to put him on the 'right' path, and I loved that.
In some ways you could actually call Charlotte Street a coming of age story. Maybe it was later in life than the typical coming of age story but Jason (and actually the other major characters too) certainly learnt something from the beginning of the book to the end and entered a new stage of life.
Wallace's writing style reminded me a lot of Nick Hornby's books, especially High Fidelity. Flawed hero- check, love interest- check, geeky friend- check, shop- check. It wasn't a copy my any means but there were a lot of parallels. Amusing but in a real-life way rather than an artificial humour.
I had meant to read something by Danny Wallace for a long time, in fact since reading Are You Dave Gorman? when I was at school, and finding out Danny Wallace had written solo books, but somehow it hasn't happened until now. This is probably the worst book to start on seeing as it's Wallace's first fiction book, but it has made me more eager to read something else by him....more
I got a little bit addicted to the knowledge from this book while reading it, I miss tweetinThis review was originally posted on Lucybird's Book Blog
I got a little bit addicted to the knowledge from this book while reading it, I miss tweeting the bits I found interesting. In fact I miss finding the interesting bits, hopefully following Forsyth’s Blog will help remedy that.
I really did enjoy this book. Anyone who follows my twitter feed can probably see I loved finding out about the words. (Soon was the Anglo-Saxon word for now, but humans are by nature procrastinators so the meaning changed. Did you know that?).
The writing was very conversational, which made it very easy to read and easy to understand.
I also loved how each chapter linked into the next by linking the words each chapter started and ended with. It did make it a little hard to put down however, which is not so good when you’re on a bus, or on your lunch break.
It also made me a little dead to the world, a number of times people started talking to me only for me not the notice.
Can’t wait to read Forsyth’s most recent offering, The Horologicon. ...more
Eva Kor is known for her talks about her time in Auschwitz and about forgiveness. She is also the founder of the CANDLES (Children of Auschwitz Nazi DEva Kor is known for her talks about her time in Auschwitz and about forgiveness. She is also the founder of the CANDLES (Children of Auschwitz Nazi Deadly Lab Experiment Survivors) organisation and the CANDLES Holocaust Museum. She wanted to share her story in a way that was accessible for children and she worked with Lisa Rojany Buccieri to achieve this.
So did she achieve it? Well I’ve read a lot of war time stories involving children (although few are actually set in a concentration camp). I think generally these stories have been more accessible, although maybe that is because most of what I have read are fiction. They still tell a horrible, disturbing story but it is easier to sanitise them in a way, you can’t change the truth.
The story did give me a lot of respect for people who had gone through the death camps, and especially for Eva, for the strength and compassion they showed even in such an ugly situation.
I did feel it as a little brief in some areas, however this was probably due to it being a children’s story.
If you are looking for children’s books about the holocaust this might not be top of my recommendations but you can’t really go wrong with it....more
It's taken me a while to get around to writing this review. Not because I disliked the book exactly but because I didn't know what to say about it. IIt's taken me a while to get around to writing this review. Not because I disliked the book exactly but because I didn't know what to say about it. I still don't really but seeing as it was a review request I thought I should at least make an attempt.
To be perfectly frank I was just a bit, well, meh, about this book. There were elements I like but it felt like everything was kind of crammed in. Like the authors didn't feel that one story would be enough so they crammed two stories together to try and make for more action. Either story alone was maybe believable but together it was just a bit far fetched. Then there were little subplots that were, well, just to much.
I did like the political angle- although not so much the way it was conducted. I still thought it was a good general idea.
The action wasn't bad, but it didn't stick out either- although without it I may never have even finished the book.
The quality of writing was just so-so. Not what I would call bad, just there was nothing about it which made me connect with the characters or the situation. It didn't really draw me in....more