Archive for ‘book review’

January 27, 2014

50 Book Challenge (part 1)

A Tap On The Window by Linwood Barclay (3/10) – The first book I read this year was a bit of a flop. I had high hopes for this, the plot sounded promising and I was in the mood for a good thriller, but this book just didn’t deliver. The story seemed to drag on for a long time without anything interesting happening, I found it hard to follow the characters, and I didn’t care enough about the main character to get involved in his back story.

The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides (8/10) – With this book, Jeffrey Eugenides has officially cemented his place on my list of all-time favourite authors. This book was not my favourite of his, (fyi my personal ranking of Mr Eugenides books is as follows: 1. Middlesex, 2. The Virgin Suicides, & 3. this one), but still, I loved it. The characters in this book were so vivid that I felt like they were jumping off the page at me.

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn (8/10) – I loved this book. This is my favourite book by Gillian Flynn so far, I just couldn’t seem to put it down. I It was a real page turner, and I raced through it because I was desperate to find out what happened at the end. A great mystery/thriller and a very easy read.

How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff (2/10) – Ugh, this book. Firstly, I may have read Flowers In The Attic at least 25 times when I was a teenager, but that doesn’t mean I’m down with pointless incest popping up in books. Especially when there is no character or relationship development whatsoever. You’re just supposed to roll with it? No. Also, I really did not like the way this book was written. I’m not a big fan of stream of consciousness writing, and I found it hard to pull anything from the story. Thankfully this book was super short and I zipped through it in two days.

Advertisements
January 7, 2014

Books 2013 (overview, final reviews + giveaway)

Goat Mountain by David Vann (6/10) – I saw this book sitting on the shelf at a book store and couldn’t resist the beautiful cover art. The blurb compared David Vann’s writing style to Cormac McCarthy, so of course I was sold. The writing in this book is beautiful, but I couldn’t stomach the subject matter. I’m not sure what it was but I was not in the right frame of mind to read this book. At one point I had to stop reading it while I was eating my lunch at work because it made me feel physically ill. Despite this little hiccup, the book was so beautifully written that I’d still recommend it.

White Horse by Alex Adams (5/10) – This book had so much promise: a strong female protagonist, a post-apocalyptic plot, beautiful cover art (heh), but it still fell short of my expectations. I wasn’t a fan of the overly wordy style of writing, and I’m still I’m still tossing up whether I’m going to read the other books in the series.

I usually do my book giveaway at the end of the year, but as I was on a hiatus throughout most of December it was pushed forward to January. So here we go! I have selected my four favourite books for the year, and will be giving away one copy of each. The books are: Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides, And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini, Columbine by Dave Cullen, and The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides. To enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment on this post telling me which of the books you’d like to win. Be sure to include your email address so that I can contact you if you’re the lucky winner. The giveaway is open internationally, and will be drawn on February 4th. Good luck!

December 3, 2013

Summer Reading List (+ Spring Reviews)

The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides 9/10 – I loved this book. Jeffrey Eugenides has officially cemented his place as one of my favourite authors (one of his other books, Middlesex, is one of my all-time favourites). I remember watching the film quite a while ago, but it didn’t affect me as much as the book did. The story of the Lisbon sisters is sad and beautiful and it lingered with me for quite a while after I’d finished reading the book.

Along Came A Spider by James Patterson 4/10 – I was in the mood for an easy read so I scanned through my list of Kindle books and selected this. It was basically just another run-of-the-mill crime novel, but it was exactly what I wanted at the time and I enjoyed it.

The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach 8/10 – For some reason it took me a really long time to read this book. It wasn’t because I didn’t like it or that I wasn’t enjoying the story, it just took a while for me to pick it up and get stuck into it. I was glad once I did because this was one of the best books I’ve read all year.

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn 7/10 – I was craving something quick and easy after my struggle to get going with The Art Of Fielding, so I picked this up. The subject matter is disturbing, but the story is good and Gillian Flynn’s style of writing is a breeze to read.

September 12, 2013

Spring Reading List (+ Winter Reviews)

b

And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini 9/10 – When I saw that Khaled Hosseini was releasing a new book I pre-ordered it immediately and I knew that as soon as it arrived it would jump to the top of my reading pile. This was another beautiful story from one of my favourite authors, and although it didn’t quite reach the emotionally crippling levels of his previous books (at least for me); it was still an incredibly touching read.

Columbine by Dave Cullen 7/10 – I have a kind of morbid fascination with school shootings. I find the psychological element of it utterly fascinating, and as soon as I saw this book pop up on a friend’s Goodreads page I knew that I wanted to read it. This book gives a fascinating insight into the events of ‘Columbine’, before the event, the day of the shootings, and the aftermath. This is an amazing book. It’s not particularly well written, but the subject matter is incredible.

The Magicians by Lev Grossman 3/10 – Don’t let the gorgeous cover art fool you, this book is terrible. There were so many things wrong with this book I don’t really know where to start. First of all, the protagonist was a major prick. I had absolutely no interest in his character, and I somehow managed to make it halfway through the book without being able to remember what his name was. Time progressed too quickly, the world wasn’t developed properly, and I was glad when it ended. Ugh.

Tags:
May 21, 2013

Winter Reading List (+ Autumn Reviews)

(note: I will be reading book 2 of 1Q84)

Ten by Gretchen McNeil 4/10 – This was an easy read, I think I managed to get through it over the course of one weekend. Not an amazing book, but good for what it was – a fairly basic young adult thriller.

The Death of Bees by Lisa O’Donnell 5/10 – I had high hopes for this book, and enjoyed how it started out but wasn’t that impressed with where it ended up. Another fairly easy read although I slowed down a little bit towards the end because I just wasn’t that interested in picking it up.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald 8/10 – I read this because I wanted to have it fresh in my mind before seeing the film when it came out this year. I love this story, and it’s nice and short so it was easy to devour in a few sittings. I found that while I was reading it I was imagining the characters as the actors playing them in the new film, which was interesting.

Red Dragon by Thomas Harris 7/10 – I’m in love with the new Hannibal TV series that started up recently, and I’m now inspired to read the books that the show is based on. I started at the beginning of the series with Red Dragon. I enjoyed this, it was another easy read and I devoured it (lol) pretty quickly.

February 28, 2013

Autumn Reading List (+ Summer Reviews)

(I’ve already finished Ten by Gretchen McNeil but I’m incluing it as an Autumn read anyway…)

What I Did by Christoper Wakling (4/10) – This was one of the designated reads for the book club that a group of my friends and I have together. It wasn’t something that I could see myself picking up of my own accord, which is one of the things I love most about being part of a book club. I started out really liking it, but it ended with a terrible anticlimax that made me change my opinion of the book as a whole leading more towards the negative.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (8/10) – I really liked this book, and I won’t say too much about it because it’s one of those books that the less you know about it the better it will be.

1Q84 (Book 1) by Haruki Murakami (6/10) – I enjoyed this but I found it quite obvious that it was part one in a trilogy. I didn’t feel like there was a complete story in the book, which was a bit frustrating but having said that I was captivated by the story enough to look forward to reading the other two books in the trilogy.

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides (10/10) – A new favourite book. This was such a beautiful story, so fascinating and incredibly well told. It came highly recommended to me and now I highly recommend this to you.