[2013-01-18] I read this book back in August, after receiving a kindle copy from the author. It is a wonderful story of hope, strength and tradegy - t...more[2013-01-18] I read this book back in August, after receiving a kindle copy from the author. It is a wonderful story of hope, strength and tradegy - tradegy refused, fought and transcended. I will be writing a fuller review in time (and probably rereading!!), but in the meantime, I recommend you grab a copy and read it!(less)
An excellent, fast-paced read. I was enthralled throughout. I thought the characterisation was excellent and the relationships realistic. The descript...moreAn excellent, fast-paced read. I was enthralled throughout. I thought the characterisation was excellent and the relationships realistic. The descriptions of the various incidents were very vivid.
Poltergeeks absolutely races along, sometimes leaving the reader almost out of breath; there are few points where the reader thinks “Ah! I can put the book down knowing all are safe for a bit”. I admit that partway through, I worked out who – but I didn’t see the why. This looping interweaving sleight-of-hand part of the book was wonderfully woven.
[2012-06-17] Book finished. Full review to follow. I was impressed at the inclusion of a bibliography. Nearly 10% of the ebook was taken up with this,...more[2012-06-17] Book finished. Full review to follow. I was impressed at the inclusion of a bibliography. Nearly 10% of the ebook was taken up with this, the acknowledgements and a preview to Cameron Nation - I didn't read the latter, as that's next on my to read list!
[2012-06-17] Wrote the review in manuscript today...will try to make time to edit, type & publish this week....(less)
I received this ebook from Michele Gorman to read and review. I read it quit...more[2012-04-29]Excellent book.
Misfortune Cookie by Michele Gorman
I received this ebook from Michele Gorman to read and review. I read it quite quickly after receiving it, but real life has got in the way of me writing a full review any sooner, for which I apologise.
Misfortune Cookie is a fun read, falling clearly into the chicklit genre. It is a testament to Michele's writing ability that at the same time time that she makes her main character, Hannah, a rather selfish and quite self-centred person, you still want to find out what happens to her and, despite her ways, you want things to turn out right for her.
I think this dichotomy may be because although Hannah displays lots of selfish behaviour, she can also be very kind, and rarely sets out to hurt or harm anyone. She is loyal to those she regards as friends.
One thing that 'made' this book for me was Michele's description of Hong Kong. I have never (yet!) visited Hong Kong, so Misfortune Cookie gave me a flavour of the city, its heat and humidity. Hong Kong was as much of a character in this book as any of the people.
Michele's writing style is engaging and thus easy to read. There was little repetition and the descriptions of places clear, crisp and atmospheric. Without being heavy-handed, there was never any doubt that we were anywhere but Hong Kong.
All in all, I thoroughly recommend this book – it is an excellent summer read. Ladies: download it to read in the sun!
There was some lack of character development that for me turned what could have been a brilliant book into an average book. The bones of the plot are...moreThere was some lack of character development that for me turned what could have been a brilliant book into an average book. The bones of the plot are well thought out and the twists are elegantly placed. It is unfortunate that the execution doesn't match up to the promise. Unfaithfully Yours is still a good read and has been and I'm sure will be enjoyed my many.
Even before I read it, I liked the idea of this book: the “jacket” blurb made me think of how we never wholly know anyone in our lives, since there ar...moreEven before I read it, I liked the idea of this book: the “jacket” blurb made me think of how we never wholly know anyone in our lives, since there are always portions for which we are not present. I liked the idea of Parker getting to know the young girl/woman her Grandmother had been and seeing how that knowledge changed Parker's view of her Grandmother and herself. I was delighted, then, when Abby Slovin offered me a eBook copy to review.
With my usual focus (some might call it addiction), I read the book within 24 hours. There are few books that take me longer...or is it that I just refuse to leave the alternative universe until I must? One day I may learn to ration my reading. As usual, I shall do my best to avoid plot spoilers – I do so dislike reviews that remove the necessity of reading the book!
The book is split into five parts, the five stages of Parker and her Grandmother’s experiences in this period. I'm not all that bothered by chapters and sections – in a print book, I often don't notice chapters passing – however I find on a Kindle, they are more obvious and in this case, the Parts worked well.
I had expected a book with the eponymous letters forming the majority of the text, but this was not the case. Abby Slovin uses the letters of Parker's youth to salt the present day story, drawing the reader's eye to the parallels with past and present behaviour and thoughts. As in a well seasoned dish the right amount of salt brings out the flavours of the other ingredients, so Abby's use of the letters gives us timely insight into the characters' relationship.
The story starts quite slowly and I found Parker a touch annoying, but as I got to know her and understand her personal demons, I found myself with more sympathy for her – even when I wanted her to take a different course of action. The story weaves in a small cast of supporting characters, who touch Parker's life in the ways other people often touch ours – sometimes fleetingly, sometimes profoundly and sometimes in a timely manner.
On a practical note, the Kindle formatting wasn't good. There were lots of spurious carriage returns and half sentence paragraphs. I might not notice chapters, but paragraphing is important to my way of reading; sometimes I had to go back over a section and read it “without” the paragraph breaks to get the meaning. It was particularly irritating and confusing during direct speech. One of my pet peeves is extended direct speech where the speakers are not clearly defined throughout; the Kindle formatting again made rereading and decoding necessary in places.
Having said that, it is an issue that is fixable and doesn't detract from the well written and thought-provoking book. There were several points in the book when I shed tears – for the characters? Yes. For myself? Not telling! There are also points of humour and things to make the reader think. There were a couple of plot developments that had me wanting to shake Parker and a couple where I think the author understood the reality of the situation differently from my experience. I can't say more as it would be a plot spoiler!
As with many modern books, Abby Slovin includes a set of suggested discussion topics for a book club. I'm not sure yet what I think of this habit. I know people might say I don't have to read them, but I find it difficult to “close” the book at that point, especially when, as in this case, the formatting ran the last line straight into them. Maybe inserting a “Chapter page” for that section would enable me to leave before the questions. I can see that the questions would be useful for a book club – and these were well thought out and provoking – but I still have the feeling that pulling a book apart destroys its magic, something I have believed since I first had to write literary decompositions in high school.
All in all, this was an enjoyable work and I regard the time reading it and writing this review well spent. It will join the select list of books that I reread. I recommend Letters in Cardboard Boxes to anyone who has relatives. (less)