My new obsession with graphic novels has begun in full force. I've had brief flings with them before as it were but never a steady thing, not wanting...moreMy new obsession with graphic novels has begun in full force. I've had brief flings with them before as it were but never a steady thing, not wanting to jinx it but I think I may have found my type and this book started it off.
As it says above it all starts with a postman falling in love with a raven, he has taste though she's not just any old raven she's the raven princess. Before anyone goes but wait, wait, that's some bestiality stuff going on there, please stop. This is Audrey Niffenegger going riiiiiiiight back to the oldest school in fairy tales there is. Grimm style. This is when magic and love was so highly believed in that there is nothing wrong in this. It works. Hopefully if you can get past this you can see the truly stunning story that is to come.
The Story- It itself is written in the classic format and carries it off so well you could easily believe that it was truly a lost Russian tale. It's dark twist and deception for such a short story is unexpected and a good surprise.
The Illustrations- For a graphic novel this is obviously key, getting the right pictures to flow with the words is a tricky task though. Get it wrong and it jars leaving you like the author is telling two separate books but get it right and it adds so much more to the words that the author can establish more of a link to the reader I feel. They can visually show the world they wish you to see as opposed to one you create, making the whole thing more personal I believe. The fact that Audrey Niffenegger illustrated this book as well really interested me, it completely cut out the middle man. What went on inside the authors head was there on the page. I loved it, took such enjoyment in witnessing the inner imagination of someone elses mind.
The Overall- A beautiful wandering in an authors mind...... (less)
This book was probably the most shocking book I have ever read. Unlike you I hadn't read the blurb so I knew nothing more than it was about...moreJayus.....
This book was probably the most shocking book I have ever read. Unlike you I hadn't read the blurb so I knew nothing more than it was about a boy in Ireland in the 80's. I can't profess to know much about the 80's, being a 94' kid and all so I was ready to give it a go.
Jim Finnegan would be the said 80's Irish boy and he was a protagonist like no other. Maher's use of language keeps the story humorous whilst at the same includes many serious issues which affected this 14 year old kid at the time. This is a spoiler so it's in white if you choose to have a look... Being raped repeatedly by his parish priest was not what I was expecting at all. The way Maher treated it was so well done though, he kept the true shock and horror of the event. Myself as a reader couldn't quite believe it was truly happening either, I really felt that I could identify his feelings therefore the connection I had to Jim as a character was intense.
My connection to Jim as a reader continued throughout the book. Even when his relationship with Saidhbh started which I don't normally go for. I really cared about how he was gonna cope with everything that he was facing and was amazed when he found solace in the strangest places. The physical mystical powers part of the book was something I found difficult to deal with though, it pushed my belief in the characters and the reality of the whole a tad too far. But because it was really just at the close of the book I could forgive it that much.
All in all I truly loved this book and really cannot recommend it further. Try it.(less)
Scratch the cheesy as hell blurb and you do have a teen novel which is worth a look. Since this is the second time I've read it I'm tempted to say it...moreScratch the cheesy as hell blurb and you do have a teen novel which is worth a look. Since this is the second time I've read it I'm tempted to say it really is one of my favorite teen books to date.
Molly isn't the best, most developed character and Dean is almost half created but I love that about this book. It's not pretentious and telling you that this girl is perfect and yeah she makes a ton of mistakes and gets drunk and sleeps with the wrong people. She's a teenager, that's what we do. At least that's what we do now.
T is a tad stereotypical but that's OK, you can forgive it when Manning creates a whirlwind of quick fame, growing up in a mixture of booze, drugs and too much love in too short a time. Now if you can handle these things, fair enough. However if you get them all, for free, in such a short amount of time when you've had such a sheltered upbringing it can be beyond crazy. Which is exactly what Manning creates for you in a brilliant head rush.
She captures the kid in a candy store aspect which the fame brings to the entire group of teenagers. Then runs with it until you hit the inevitable filling that that much candy is going to bring. It's bad for you but that is it's best quality.
Recently I haven't been posting an there's many reasons why, to be kept on this occasion though, to myself. To say life gets complicated is an understatement and cheesy so I'll leave it at I've been living for the past few months at least. (less)
Yeah, so I read a review of this book from a fellow blogger who couldn't recommend it enough, loved every page! I swear they were as high as a kite wh...moreYeah, so I read a review of this book from a fellow blogger who couldn't recommend it enough, loved every page! I swear they were as high as a kite when they were writing that because I've never read a book which has wasted my time more.
This is why: One, the characters. Beverly and her horrific past. Don't get me wrong it was horrific however the author seemed to see her revenge as all and everything in her life and I just couldn't help but want more for her. I then got more and more frustrated as it became more apparent that Harvey thought that a past is enough to shape a characters personality when it really really really doesn't.
There were of course other characters but Harvey seemed not to bother with them. True she dedicated word space to them but I don't think she really thought about their characters beyond giving them each a female empowerment issue. Truly do we only become true women once we have stood up against a man? Or needing a man to then realise our own empowerment?
.............I think no. But this message grated own me because I can see how she reached that conclusion I jsut think it's a damaging one.
There isn't that much to say about the narrative apart from it was pretty much a reflection on the past and how it creates you future. Which I am also against, seeing as I feel that the past shapes you as a person which therefore impacts your future but does not shape it as I think Harvey beleives.
So. All in all I would say never ever read this book. That is about it. Then again if you do read it, please tell me how you get on. Because you are, of course, allowed to completely disregard my opinion :P (less)
Straight off the bat it has to be said that this book is gorgeous! The different coloured writing, the black outline illustrations, the full colour il...moreStraight off the bat it has to be said that this book is gorgeous! The different coloured writing, the black outline illustrations, the full colour illustrations and finally, the gold cover. In all its package it is just a stunning book and I already saw the danger of faliing irrevocably in love in it.
But now onto the story itself. It was cleverly set into 4 different "sections", Oliver alone, Delilah alone, them together and the actual fairy tale. Not only did I love every section but I didn't have a favourite which is really strange for me in a multi-voiced story. This was mostly down to the beautiful characterisation of each character, no matter how minor they were.
The illustrations as I mentioned before is quite rare for a YA book now, to this extent at least. But I do hope they are making a comeback because they just emphasised the fairy tale message of the book whilst triggering nostalgia for those old fairy tale tomes we had when little. At least it did this for me.
To mention Picoult's collaboration with van Leer is important I beleive as it really was a joint venture in my reading of the book. I've read some Picoult books before and loved her style and grasp of realism which is ever present in these books but the touch of the magical and whimsical I like to think is van Leer's influence. In which case they were the perfect match to write this book and I am ever grateful they did so, it's cheered me up no end.
That and delicate back stories which just made you love the story even more gave an overall effect of a real fairy tale for the ages.
Jamilia is truly a beautiful book. There cannot be any doubt about that. Aitmatov's description is like nothing I've read before, he makes me feel lik...moreJamilia is truly a beautiful book. There cannot be any doubt about that. Aitmatov's description is like nothing I've read before, he makes me feel like I could understand what an artist sees when they see a canvas. His narrative gifts stretch that far, which sounds as if I'm overselling him but trust me I'm not.
The setting of this novel, which was of course well crafted, is intriguing to anyone who hasn't come across a book so focused on agricultural village life. I am one such person and found it strangely fascinating to read about a village so run by tradition that no one breaks this certainty of their future.
But that all changes when Daniyar arrives. The typical wounded soldier who, rather moodily, never talks about what happened in the war but then again rarely talks so there's not a whole lot of change. He's a multi-layered cipher which you just want to unravel as soon as possible. His hidden secrets and feelings are so cleverly laid bare and yet concealed until Aitmatov lifts the cover on the man behind the poverty sticken man.
So the love story is cast and Jamilia herself was.......well, I'm not entirely sure I liked her. I don't think really you're entirely meant to, merely respect her as you do a thoroughbred. Her spirit and complete comittal to her tasks in hand which she decides is to be respected. She isn't really portrayed as a person for you to like mostly due to her complete independence and willfulness. Then again I suppose it was necessary to have a driving force between the two otherwise they would never elope!
I can't bring myself to say that it was the greatest love story of all time because as a romantic I need a neat happy ending. However this book is so beautiful it needs to be found by more people so they can fully appreciate Aitmatov's gift for bringing a country to life.
I didn't know that this was part of a series when I got it and perhaps that has biased my thoughts on it but here they are anyway, for now.
I was excit...moreI didn't know that this was part of a series when I got it and perhaps that has biased my thoughts on it but here they are anyway, for now.
I was excited to read this because strangely enough I have always been fascinated by the high-class prostitute. Their reasons, lifestyle, sacrifice and ability to cope with the stigma of their job is endlessly interesting. Belle De Jour is the top of her tree and her series of books really lets you into the life of a london call girl.
The only problem was that in this book, SHE RETIRES! Understandable and everything but not the book I was looking for! I didn't care about her life after until I'd heard of her life before which my own fault I admit and not the book, however why market the book as "Further Adventure of a London Call Girl" if she is not a call girl after about 3 chapters!
Her complicated love life and her diffficulty trying to establish a normal life is an interesting read and has a different style which I haven't read anything like before. It makes the series interesting to me and makes me feel like I really should give the other books a chance, well the first at least.
This book kept itself interesting by including letters from people to Miss Belle and her advice. These were really amusing and her shamelessness was hilarious to read. Such as this one:
Dear Belle I'm going out with a pair of best friends: one knows, the other does not. I'm having lots of sex but it does chafe rather. Any tricks of the trade to help me out?
Dear Double-Booked Sorry, but has the message to lube well and often missed your household? Lube well. And often. If the front entry wears out, use the back for a bit. But for goodness' sake, girl, are you mad? You're missing the oppurtunity for a threesome if you don't tell the other gent what's going on!
The primary concern of Miss Belle being that Double-Booked is missing out on a threesome where many would be in moral uproar is brilliant and aan excellent example of why I respect this woman. She has whatever sex in whatever way she wishes because she wants to and refuses to be ashamed of that fact, I wish wholeheartedly that this would be the opinion of more women. Really the only thing they can gain is great sex and who doesn't want that?
So all in all, interesting style wise but I would a) read the first book first (who woulda guessed?) b)Really question whether you want to read someones diary in which they date someone you really really hate. Trust me, you will hate the Boy. If you don't you are the Boy.
If you haven't seen any of the marketing for this book yet: it's exactly like Fifty Shades! Everyone says so look at the gazillions of reviewers we've...moreIf you haven't seen any of the marketing for this book yet: it's exactly like Fifty Shades! Everyone says so look at the gazillions of reviewers we've collected who all say if you've read Fifty Shades you have to read this one!
This annoyed me somewhat because I beleive it could've stood on it's own without Fifty Shades as such a crutch. It wasn't novel of the century or anything but it was a good summer read, you knew the characters and the narrative before you read a page but really do you want anything different on your holiday? Ermm.. .....no.
Yes, the literary world has a tendency to assume that you wish to read serious material all the time. Many snobs within this world would never consider touching a book such as this but I cannot stand behind this thinking. I think that books are for absolutely everyone and each book has something to recommend it which is what I try and highlight at the end of my reviews.
Rant over.....back to what this book is about. Romance. The story is one billionaire meets a PA in the building which he owns/she works and it's instant attraction on both sides. Eva has however a past which heavily affects her views on relationships and his past gives him a need to control and has issues with people leaving him.
With both individuals so broken how can this relationship survive right? But Day uses their pasts as a way for them to truly understand each other, thus when then both realise that they have problems and identify them they use it to make the relationship stronger.
Eva is a blunt, no-nonsense kind of person and it's refreshing that she doesn't give in straight away, she knows there will be issues so she has doubts. Gideon's obvious serious affection for her is lovely to read and his slow realisation that Eva might be one to not let get away makes you want to stick with them. To see if they are really going to make or just muck it up again.
Cary was Eva's bisexual friend who she met in therapy (yep, it's quite american on a side note) and he was great. Extremely camp, so camp in fact that when we learn about him having sex with a woman I don't know if this was common but I was surprised! The orgy was a bit forced too, it was almost as if Day was narratively saying HE LIKES MEN AND WOMEN! SEE! THERE'S A MAN! NOW THERE'S A WOMAN! Which slightly ruins him, but only slightly.
The women in Gideon's life also feature quite heavily, very unlike Fifty. Each seem to present a different threat to Gideon and Eva which gives us a cliffhanger I guess as Day sets up the situation where any one could eventually end up with Gideon. I didn't quite like this, much too much of a fan of happily ever afters......
If you're looking for a read for the summer I suggest this, it's easy and quick to read and not too in depth. Perfect beach book.
This book opened my eyes, some books just do and this is one of them. It touched on all kinds of love, showed it truthfully, it's not black and white,...moreThis book opened my eyes, some books just do and this is one of them. It touched on all kinds of love, showed it truthfully, it's not black and white, sometimes it's not clear who should be with who. Whether it's right to stay with a man who you were in love with for so long just because you don't want to mess up the children you secretly already beleive you have already messed up. Or to seperate from your loveless marriage to find a person who actually loves you now and not an image of the past and realise maybe your children can look after themselves. But can affairs be justified? Is true love a good enough excuse for the lies and treachery that an affair entails? All these things were explored in the book through each characters individual story.
The thought of arranged marriages isn't one I have really thought about but the book brought up the issue so I really thought about it and I've come to the conclusion that, culturally it is still a significant practise but as every other significant cultural practise it has advantages and disadvantages, it's a strong tradition but I just can't see myself beleiving it's the best option at all. Marriage for me is a complete and binding thing, it takes a lot of work, sacrifice and love to make it last, for some people change and they aren't compatible anymore but what if this happens in an arranged marriage? More likely since the 2 parties know less about each other than in an western marriage. Is the chance that being shackled to someone, like Henna for the rest of your life worth it? Rashid decides that he can't keep living as he is and so starts an affair, however for appearances he leaves his marriage to Henna secret and continues with his life in the UK whilst Henna continues her relationship with his brother. All for appearances. This is something I know about, Surrey with all it's riches has a lot going on under the radar, everyone knows about it of course but no one says a word. For example, there was a well-known pilot, he was liked and respected in the Surrey community, he had a wife, 2 sons and a daughter.....in England at least. He also had a family in Scotland, America and Spain each not knowing about the other however Surrey society knowing all. I always thought his wife knew or at least had some inkling, but never mind. His wife was sleeping with the gardener and his first son was a well-known drug dealer. All this went on in this family but no one spoke a word about it, appearances must be kept.
The sub-plot of Shona's son and Rashid's daughter was brilliant and kept me on the edge of my seat, I couldn't beleive the son's despair and made me think that you can really care about someone, the hospital scene was done amazingly well.
Overrall I loved the easyness of this book despite it's many sub-plots and characters, it's description evoked places instantly and the characters were extremely life-like. I haven't been posting as I've started the work I missed when I was ill, needless to say it's quite a bit and vital too.
The last and final instalment in this all-too-addictive series is the perfect ending to our voyeuristic look into Christian and Ana's lives and what l...moreThe last and final instalment in this all-too-addictive series is the perfect ending to our voyeuristic look into Christian and Ana's lives and what lives they have! In this one it's all wrapped up and tied up in a lovely silver tie.....
We start at their honeymoon and everything is as it should be, delightfully romantic scenes and eons of hot sex. We keep the controlling meglomaniac that is Christian (he has some issues with jet skis) but we meet a new side, a comprimising side. This evolution within their relationship is really exciting for anyone who's followed the series but perhaps not for anyone else, this therefore is me telling you to get in on the biggest selling adult paperback of all time.
However the honeymoon bubble bursts as is expected and the problems arise, but this is testament to them they battle through every nightmare, every part of their combined past which threatens their future happiness. That's something that doesn't happen that often, it's special and just another reason why they wind themselves around your heartstrings.
Ana asserts her dominance throughout the book which I loved, the powerplay between the two of them is a brilliant example of the modern romance I think, no helpless female here unless she wants to be that way. In this way this is my kind of feminism, a woman can be whatever she wishes to be and if that's helpless every now and again then that is alright. (less)
If you, like me, and many many others rushed out to buy this book my review is somewhat redundant. I do however like to remember what I thought of eac...moreIf you, like me, and many many others rushed out to buy this book my review is somewhat redundant. I do however like to remember what I thought of each one in the series and if you're still not sure whether you should even start let me tell you that the second doesn't disappoint. Just as much kinky fuckery but with more angst-ridden romance and hurt.
In this book we really start to get under the skin of Christian Grey and find out what really is going on in his past and present which for me at least is fascinating. He's a deeply intricate character with many levels, the dominant "don't mess with me", the vulnerable little boy, the jealous boyfriend, the madly in love fiance all wrapped up in one hot bundle. His past just shows a different side of him briefly, before James moves right on..and back..and on etc. Her ever eluding dance is something which is unputdownable and I adore.
The revelation about the subs and the more we learn about that side of Mr Grey's character is very much new in this book, the focus is on him most of the time. Not complaining of course but perhaps Anastasia deserved a tad more limelight than she got, she was more portrayed as a stroppy child. He is beyond frustrating there is no doubt but she has no patience in this book......none.
All in all yet another delightful installment in a satisfying triology.
WELL. Where to start really? The kinky fuckery? The weird possessiveness? The romance? The sweet moments? The really rather odd writing? The slight te...moreWELL. Where to start really? The kinky fuckery? The weird possessiveness? The romance? The sweet moments? The really rather odd writing? The slight teenage tendancies?
There's just so much to cover when talking about the most sold paperback of all time. Once someone tells you this what can you do but find out just why this book has everyone so enthralled? I found the answer in the age old paradigm: Sex Sells and boy was there a lot of sex in this book!
This was however the first book so there was a largeish portion of the book where they were learning important information about each other such as their names annnnd what else do you need to know really? In a romance book not much beyond this, maybe their profession so that they can sweetly stalk you at work otherwise your all set to go.
Not in Fifty Shades! Nonononono that will not do! There must be a contract which limits and clauses and this has to be included in it's entirety not once, but twice! This must outline just what is expected of each and when and what isn't allowed etc. I have to say when I read it I just had to laugh, I didn't know how else to react, the idea of a relationship being reduced to a contract is so........odd? Strange? Bizarre? This book has taken my ability to structure words and left me in a drift of foggy fuzzed knowledge.
This fog consists of every part of my book knowledge screaming at me to hate this book and every quite poorly written word and yet I love it, all of it. All Fifty Shades of Fucked-Upness. I never knew that this would become a book I'd properly love but it kinda got under my skin even if I have to turn my back on "serious" books for a while.
I think it was Christian, I'm being all sentimental but it was as if he was a character written for my exact needs, all angst and broken man yet infinitley masterful. Sounds contradictory no? But yet it is not. Not in this book.
So yet more historical romance fiction for you, though I'll reassure you I think the phase is ending thank the Lord! This book did however set the dow...moreSo yet more historical romance fiction for you, though I'll reassure you I think the phase is ending thank the Lord! This book did however set the downward slope for me so don't hold out a lot of hope for a glowing review.
It was however good, I did like it...I DID, promise. It was a bit....preachy and spiritual really, just why she felt the need to include the Lady in every single sentence is actually beyond me. When she read it back did she not think "Blimey, I've used the Lady a lot, better take a bit out before it gets too hippy" nope she kept right on with it. It got so bad that she completely emasculated the main dude! Poor Richard! Confined to a "consort" role which basically just made him sound like her free hooker and not definitely not her husband. God forbid he would actually challenge her ideas or her complete control, he'd be in for it then!
That being said I quite liked Catriona she just was a bit TOO everything TOO opiniated TOO hippy TOO confident (slightly full of herself) TOO into the Lady
Generally too much for my tastes which made the story drag and drag and drag and it didn't need to! It really didn't, it had so much going for it otherwise! All the wild Scottish landscape with illicit affairs and his name was Scandal FFS!
My final point which I had to pick with this book was that YES STEPHANIE LAURENS THERE IS A NEED FOR THE COUPLE TO STATE USING SOPPY LANGUAGE THAT THEY LOVE EACH OTHER!!!! Well I need it, and if you want to read this kind of book I would think odds are your gonna want that too, just to give you a heads up. It doesn't happen. Ever. I was most distressed.