Welcome

“Let us read, and let us dance;
these two amusements will never do any harm to the world.”

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Mount TBR 11# Iris and Ruby by Rosie Thomas

I made this: BookElf at 10:09 am 0 comments Links to this post

I discovered two things last week. One was Reeces Pieces, which are delicious, and available in milkshake form. The other Was Rosie Thomas, who isn't, but is just as tasty.

I have no idea where I acquired Iris and Ruby from, but it is definitely second hand and doesn't has a price in the front cover so I'm guessing either a book swap, or PovAid. Wherever it is from, it's been on my shelf for yonks and I've nearly read it a few times, before passing over to something else.

Another one of those dual narrative historical/modern novels that have been the only things you could bloody read for the past ten years, this is a good example of how to do this genre right. It gets the generations sorted properly, and the characters reflect their generations. Ruby and Iris couldn't be more different. Iris of the forties reflects her upbringing of a middle class, intelligent, highly educated 22 year old  who is used to living away from home, who takes on a job in Cairo working for the military during the war. Ruby, the modern stubborn19 year old, is still recovering from a frankly horrible adolescence including (that doesn't get resolved to my satisfaction to be honest)  being abused by her uncle. Iris, after a life time looking after others at the expense of a relationship with her daughter, has returned to live out her old ago in Cairo. Her memory is fading and she is frightened and lonely, living a sheltered existence with her housekeeper. Ruby, fleeing her life in London and her interfering mother, runs away to Cairo on a whim and throws herself on the mercy of her grandmother, whom she has not seen in years.

The two soon become fast friends, and Ruby encourages Iris to tell her her memories of the war and her great love affair with Xan Molyneux. At the same time, Iris eases Ruby out of her hard city girl shell and she begins to discover life can be wonderful without drama and hardship. The two have many adventures together, and the book is a little all over the place, but it is a lovely, lovely read. The romance between Iris and Xan is very well done, and contrast nicely with the more modern straightforward affair between Ruby and a local man, Ash. In fact, this book is best read as an exploration of the differences between Then and Now, the heady days of British influence in Cairo, and the more modern city, where tourists abound and people live in the tombs of their families.

The book is also lovely in showing how families can drift apart,. but how sometimes that isn't a bad thing. Ruby's mother and Iris' daughter Lesley has her own journey that reflects that of many middle aged women-not wanting to let go of their children, unable to contemplate a life of their own without working towards the needs of others, be it a child or a man. I liked Lesley an awful lot and her subtle shift from frantic career mother and doting wife to strong independent person who will wear whatever damn trousers she chooses, was one of my favourite parts of the book.

All is all, I am so pleased I read this book. I've read another Rosie Thomas since then, and passed this one on to my G-Ma. If you like romance, dual narratives, comfy writing and a bit of drama, you need to get into her books. She is a fascinating person herself as well, which always helps!

4/5, lovely.

Sometimes - Sheenagh Pugh

I made this: Avid Reader at 8:00 am 0 comments Links to this post
Sometimes
Sometimes things don't go, after all,
from bad to worse. Some years, muscadel
faces down frost; green thrives; the crops don't fail,
sometimes a man aims high, and all goes well.
A people sometimes step back from war;
elect an honest man; decide they care 
enough, that they can't leave some stranger poor.
Some men become what they were born for.
Sometimes our best efforts do not go
amiss; sometimes we do as we meant to.
The sun will sometimes melt a field of sorrow
that seemed hard frozen: may it happen to you
Sheenagh Pugh 



* * * * * 
 A Poetry Moment - Table of Contents 


* * * * * 

The LainiBop Challenge - Book 15 - The Great Gatsby - GUEST

I made this: Avid Reader at 8:00 am 0 comments

READ!TO GO!
15115

The LainiBop Challenge

THE GREAT GATSBY
F. SCOTT FITZGERALD

* * * * *
* * * * * SPOILERS * * * * *
* * * * *

I loved, loved, loved this book. I'm really looking forward to seeing the new remake of the film but not sure how it will translate to the screen.
The Great Gatsby tells the story of the fictional communities ofWest and East Egg in New York. The narrator is a man called Nick Carraway. Early on in the book, he admits that "it was a matter of chance that I should have rented a house in one of the strangest communities in North America" He is the link between all of the characters, from his cousin Daisy and her husband Tom Buchanan, to the Great Gatsby himself, a mysterious figure, who lives right next door to Nick but for much of the early part is only referred to by name, and always with some strange and fantastic story attached.

There are a couple of main plots throughout, which are all neatly tied together at various points in the story, and are all equally compelling. We have Tom and Daisy's tempestuous marriage and rumours of an affair, to Gatsby's regular, magnificent parties and who he really is underneath all the hype and scandal. I love the character of Nick, because he plays the part of the narrator, but not being directly involved in the story, he is in the perfect position to comment on the events and people around him. Having explained already that he finds the community strange, we can rely on him to take an impartial view of events and can relate easily to his descriptions. Daisy and Tom's relationship is fascinating too, this is one of the things which is subject to rumour and scandal among the other characters, everyone having an opinion on Tom's affair. The fact that we are quickly introduced to his mistress with whom he seems to lead a double life with their own friend's separate from Daisy just makes this all the more enticing to read.

Most of all though, I absolutely adored the way this was written, the prose is so beautiful and imaginative, that it made me smile as I read. Fitzgerald compares seemingly mundane items and people in such a way that they seem anything but boring and ordinary. "...wedging his tense arm imperatively under mine, Tom Buchanan compelled me from the room as though he were moving a checker to another square"
"'We ought to plan something' yawned Miss Baker, sitting down at the table as if she were getting into bed". (pg 18)
"It was the kind of voice that the ear follows up and down, as if each speech is an arrangement of notes that will never be played again." (pg 15)
"We pushed aside curtains that were like pavilions, and felt over innumerable feet of dark wall for electric light switches - once I tumbled with a sort of splash upon the keys of a ghostly piano" (pg 153)
These words conjure up beautiful images and for that reason alone, I will definitely be looking up further works by Mr. Fitzgerald. Even if the story itself hadn't been so enjoyable, the words he used captivated me completely throughout and transported me to a different time and place. And that, to me is the reason I read. After just finishing the dire work that was Mary, Mary by Julie Parsons, this was a joy. I would absolutely recommend everyone to pick this up and have a read.

Youtube:

Spotify:
LeedsBookClub Leeds Playlist - The Great Gatsby
YouTube HERE
LeedsBookClub Leeds Playlist - The Great Gatsby - The Jazz Age
YouTube HERE!

SCORE       9/10





* * * * *
Say Hello to @Lainibop

Her To Be Read Challenge - The Countdown Begins!





Book 30 - ?
Book 29 - ?
Book 28 - Sexing the Cherries by Jeanette Winterson
Book 27 - Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Book 26 - Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer
Book 25 - Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
Book 24 - From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne
Book 23 - Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Book 22 - Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less by Jeffery Archer


Find more reviews HERE

If we've used any videos, you'll find them on the LeedsBookClub YouTube Channel - 

Visit LainiBop's playlist HERE 
Visit Fizzy Elephants HERE
The 10 Things I Hate About You playlist is HERE!
* * * * *
Table of Contents - Guest Stars

* * * * *
Table of Contents - Laini's Book Shelf

* * * * *

Monday, 27 August 2012

The Ryedale Book Festival

I made this: BookElf at 10:49 am 0 comments
I love love love lit fests of all kinds, and in Yorkshire we are blessed to have some cracking ones right on our doorstep. The last couple of years have seen me travel to Morley, Ilkley, my home town of Scarborough, and round the corner to Headingley in search of a good outing about books, and then we had the fantastic Leeds Big Bookend this summer!

Now Malton, which is a gorgeous market town only about 40 minutes on the train from Leeds, featuring some lovely pubs, Roman ruins and surrounded by beautiful countryside is hosting its own book festival, and I'm incredibly excited about it.

The Ryedale Book Festival will be held on the 20 October and contains a varied programme designed to appeal to everyone who enjoys reading, writing and story telling. It is a completely community created project, and is so massive it is an utter wonder that they've managed to squeeze it into one day!

Included are appearances from GP Taylor, whose Shadowmancer series is set in Yorkshire, Lucy Beckett, Andy Seed and Kate Fox. There is story telling for children (in fact, 2000 local children are involved in projects leading up to the festival), puppets, a rap workshop (which I, being about as street as you get, am especially looking forward to) poetry open-mic, and performances from the Malton DickensSociety, which sounds awesome. There is also going to be a fantastic line-up of book shops and publishers hosting book signings and selling books on the day, as well as a Book Swap hosted by the Travelling Suitcase Library. And there are also Special Secret Plans afoot that I am so excited I could burst about, but more of that later...

Tickets go on sale from Malton Tourist Information Centre from 1 September. Seriously recommended as a Autumn Day Out, this festival is definitely something to look forward to... go to http://www.ryedalebookfestival.com/ for more information.

Friday, 24 August 2012

The LainiBop Challenge - Book 14 - Mary, Mary - GUEST

I made this: Avid Reader at 8:00 am 0 comments

READ!TO GO!
14116

The LainiBop Challenge

MARY, MARY
JULIE PARSONS

* * * * *
* * * * * SPOILERS * * * * *
* * * * *

Mary, Mary eh? This is the second Mary, Mary I've read this year, the first being the more well-known James Patterson novel. Both crime/thrillers, this particular one severely lacked the thrilling part of that pair.

So, Margaret is a psychologist, she moved to New Zealand when she was pregnant with her daughter Mary, and has just recently moved back to Ireland to take care of her sick mother. Mary has just gone missing and eventually her body is found dumped in a plastic sack in the canal. The story isn't so much about Mary's disappearance as we find out quite early on that she had died, but more about the investigation and even more so about the repercussions after the perpetrator is found and arrested.

Because unlike other crime novels, this book focuses on the aftermath more so than Mary herself, it should have had more of an impact on me that it did. The unusual perspective was meant to spin a different story than the ones we are used to. But whether it was the writing style or the story itself, it just didn't grab me the way it was intended.

Margaret herself, in my opinion doesn't come across particularly well. She seems to have a lot of secrets. There is also an untold mystery about her relationship with her father that we get glimpses of through snippets of conversations with her mother. Instead of these comments spurring me to want to find out what happened there, they just get tiresome. For example, we find out that when her father died, her mother didn't tell her. She was living in New Zealand at the time, but her mother didn't tell her until after the funeral which is something Margaret resent her for, understandably.
The victim of the novel, Mary is very much a background character, we find out small pieces of information about her, but nothing substantial, again I think this was done on purpose but the effect on me was that I just didn't really care about this missing shadow of a person, because that's all that she was in the book.

Then of course, we have the investigating detective in the case, Michael McLoughlin. Could they have put a more ill-suited incompetent detective on the case? For anyone who's seen Brendan Gleeson in the Guard, imagine him, but drunker, stupider and also kind of a stalker. This man really frustrated me throughout. He's in the middle of a very unhappy marriage, which is blamed completely on the wife, even though he is clearly a waste of space. He spends most of his time in the pub getting drunk, oh that is when he's not following Margaret around and spying on her house from his car when off duty. He obsesses about this woman, about her looks, and daydreams about her, basically falling in love with her. Bad policy for a police officer investigating the murder of someone's daughter. His actions get creepier the more you read, and all this adds to the story is an uncomfortableness, as he tries to take advantage of her grief to get close to her. He seems far more intent on getting her to love him back than he does on trying to solve the murder. I didn't understand at all why this was necessary to the story, and had no faith at all in his competence as a detective because of this.

Now to the writing, as mentioned above, this novel was set in Ireland, specifically Dublin, now in case the reader has a very bad memory, this is repeated constantly. It reads like it was written by someone who has visited Dublin once and has taken down a list of all the placenames, and Irishisms they saw and just vomited it back onto the page. Perhaps if I didn't know Dublin even a little bit, I wouldn't have noticed this, but the characters manage to find themselves in every area of Dublin possible at one stage or another, they walk from X to Y to Z for no apparent reason, seems like its just a way for the author to remind the reader that yes, the novel is set in Dublin. This got very annoying very quickly.

Within the first chapter, tea is mentioned at least twice, as are pints of stout. By the way, the book is set in Ireland, cos we love our tea and pints...! The language used at times flows really well, but then someone will say something in a way completely inappropriate to the situation and then I felt pulled out of the story and compelled to complain about it to the other half. Because of this, I couldn't get into the rhythm of the story at all. There is a scene in it where a photography teacher is reporting a rape to the gardai. This report is made a long time after the event and obviously her visit to the garda station is emotional and traumatic. She describes the attack vividly but clearly, distancing herself from it, again understandable, and just as the reader is getting into the scene and feeling for this poor young woman she comes out with something like "How do you think it's been for me here in this room with you? To turn myself inside out like a ripe fig, let you see all those bits which should be hidden." WHAT? A FIG? Who talks like that, is the question I screamed at this point, again turning a very emotional, heart-wrenching piece of writing into a piece of drivel. I'm all for figurative writing and if this character had felt like a fig inside her head I maybe could have accepted that, but do you really tell a member of the police that you feel like a ripe fig in this situaion? Maybe you do, who knows?

In conclusion, I got quite frustrated at points throughout the book purely based on the writing. Any sympathy you may have had for this mysterious victim called Mary is shattered during the trial where she is referred to as a thing by the forensics witness. This is pointed out by Margaret herself and noted that they are trying to turn her into a thing instead of a person, but the author has made no effort to do otherwise with the reader.

Before I started writing the review, I had given it a 4 out of 10, now that I have recalled all the reasons I didn't like this book, I have reduced that to a 1. So there you go. Will not be looking for anymore of this author's works, as my blood pressure is high enough already!

SCORE       1/10


* * * * *
Say Hello to @Lainibop

Her To Be Read Challenge - The Countdown Begins!



Book 30 - ?
Book 29 - ?
Book 28 - Sexing the Cherries by Jeanette Winterson
Book 27 - Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Book 26 - Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer
Book 25 - Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
Book 24 - From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne
Book 23 - Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Book 22 - Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less by Jeffery Archer


Find more reviews HERE

If we've used any videos, you'll find them on the LeedsBookClub YouTube Channel - 

Visit LainiBop's playlist HERE 
Visit Fizzy Elephants HERE
The 10 Things I Hate About You playlist is HERE!
* * * * *
Table of Contents - Guest Stars

* * * * *
Table of Contents - Laini's Book Shelf

* * * * *

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Nina Bawden

I made this: BookElf at 3:15 pm 0 comments Links to this post
I was bought a big thick three-in-one Nina Bawden collection by my Uncle Allan for Christmas when I was about seven. Carrie's War, the first in the set and Nina Bawden's most famous book, was about a young girl and her needy younger brother being evacuated into Wales during the Second World War. It was also about a man's inability to connect emotionally to his family, ablism and how that affects a community, and how childhood incidents lead to massive emotional conflicts as we grow older. Carrie was a strongwilled girl who made a mistake and was still thinking about it thirty years later. To a seven year old the idea of a future is terrifying. This was what made Nina Bawden great, she could put so much into her slim books and yet you never felt like you were being overburdened.

My favourite book of her's, apart from Carrie's War, is The Witch's Daughter, which I read much later. Perdita, the wild strange girl isolated from her community by the neglect she suffers from home, was a marvel to me. I too wanted to have flyaway hair, to perch on my rock by the stormy seas, and wear thick boots and long skirts. Maybe one day.

Nina Bawden's children were real, not cartoons of what adults believed children should be. My favourites were always her tomboys (a word I hate, having had it applied to me my entire childhood) who didn't want to/couldn't have blonde curls and prissy dresses. Cora in Humbug looked like I did and had serious attitude, a great role model for any ten year old girl feeling a bit awkward.

The adventures her children had were always a little bit too big to be real, but far more plausible than the fantasies my peers were reading. It was entirely possible that the son of a foreign prince on the run could move in next door, or that you could find a priceless relic in your garden, or that your step-father could be involved in smuggling. No dragons here, thanks.

Nina Bawden wrote absolutly tons of books, both for children and adults, and I've read a handfull of them. However, she still had a massive influence for me as a reader, and I have had so many lovely comversations about her books with people at book swaps I know she will be very sadly missed.

Rest in Peace, and thank you.
xxx

Sunday, 19 August 2012

The LainiBop Challenge - Book 13 - Glitz - GUEST

I made this: Avid Reader at 8:00 am 0 comments

READ!TO GO!
13117

The LainiBop Challenge

GLITZ
LOUISE BAGSHAWE

* * * * *
* * * * * SPOILERS * * * * *
* * * * *

Glitz is the story of 4 cousins, Juno and her sister Athena, and their cousins, Venus and her sister Diana. Very different girls, who had very different childhoods, they all now have one very important thing in common, they are rich, extremely rich, and famous because of their wealth. This fabulous lifestyle they lead is provided by their uncle Clem, a reclusive business man who lives on an island in the middle of nowhere. Their only duty in order to receive this money is to visit Clem for 2 weeks of the year, at Christmas, no exceptions, and no guests allowed, even Juno's husband must spend the time alone, while she vacations on the tropical island.

Everything changes however when Clem invites them unexpectedly to visit mid year, and announces that he is getting married to a much younger woman and he is giving them a year to get themselves sorted before he cuts off their trust funds. Naturally the girls are not happy about this, and must put aside their bickering to get rid of this interloper and try to save their extravagant lifestyles.

The fact that all the girls have such different personalities and traits meant that the reader has more of a chance to relate to at least one of these girls. Venus is a wannabe actress, she wants to be famous and star in top Hollywood movies, and thinks that her wealth and considerable fame will help her get there. Her sister Diana scorns the idea of "working" even as an actress and intends to spend her life being the IT girl on the social scene. Juno is married and very much a social climber, she's all about the grand and elegant parties and increasing her VIP contacts. Her sister Athena on the other hand is sort of considered the black sheep of the quartet. She comes across as very plain, she doesn't take as much care of her appearance as the rest of them and definitely doesn't care about clothes and designer labels. Her ambition is to become a research fellow in Oxford university, but her dreams are shattered when the position is awarded to a male candidate who received much lower marks than she did.

Since these girls were 16 they have never known anything else but money. Clem has made sure that wealth comes before everything else by letting them know they must sacrifice Christmas with their family to ensure his continued approval. The news that they will lose everything comes as a huge shock to them and understandably they have no idea how to handle the situation, they have never had to work or worry about money in any way. This means that characters who are snobby and selfish, end up arousing a lot of sympathy for their "plight". Even though we should scorn their lack of common sense and brattiness, we understand why they are the way they are and also that this is a very obvious ploy by Clem to make them completely dependent on him.

Clem is a very manipulative and scheming man. You get the impression early on that this marriage is almost a test for his nieces, an assessment in their loyalty, and an examination in how far they will go to ensure they stay rich.

The plot of the book is very enticing, it moves along at a nice pace and really manages to insert the reader into this fabulous world of parties and celebrities. One obvious way it does this is to describe every outfit the girls put on for every party or interview or meeting they attend. Frequently the girls' outfits are compared to one another. Juno comments on the appearances as they fly out to see Clem:
  • "Venus dressed sexy...Today she was wearing a Pucci halter-necked dress in patterned silk, teetering Manolos in flesh coloured leather - strappy sandals that laced halfway up her toned calves....Over it all, a crisp tailored coat by Joseph, snow white, picked out her tanned blondeness....Chanel sunglasses balanced on top of her head." 
  • "Diana...was slightly less obvious. Prada handbag, to match her carry-on...Versace dress and jacket in tailored cream cotton with a daisy detail...Her shoes were chestnut, too, Christian Louboutin with the sassy red soles." 
  • "She herself...wore a sheashell-pink dress and coat by Robinson Valentine, sedate YSL pumps in black leather, and carried a neat little Kate Spade handbag, black with jet and pink crystal detailing...with a large pair of Dior sunglasses perched on her forehead." 
  • "But Athena! Mousy-brown hair, untouched by stylists...Low budget clothing. Ray-Bans, for heaven's sake. A necklace of crystals. At least she appeared to be wearing some decent Jimmy Choo flats, and her handbag was Gucci. But Juno's baby sister was a tousled, tumbled mess."
Frankly all that goes straight over my head, but I'm sure it's very impressive! I just wish that we didn't have to have a full fashion show every time the girls meet for a cup of coffee.

All in all, it was an enjoyable book. Not the most conversation-inspiring book I've ever read, but a nice quick read!

SCORE       6/10


* * * * *
Say Hello to @Lainibop

Her To Be Read Challenge - The Countdown Begins!



Book 30 - ?
Book 29 - ?
Book 28 - Sexing the Cherries by Jeanette Winterson
Book 27 - Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Book 26 - Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer
Book 25 - Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
Book 24 - From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne
Book 23 - Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Book 22 - Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less by Jeffery Archer


Find more reviews HERE

If we've used any videos, you'll find them on the LeedsBookClub YouTube Channel - 

Visit LainiBop's playlist HERE 
Visit Fizzy Elephants HERE
The 10 Things I Hate About You playlist is HERE!
* * * * *
Table of Contents - Guest Stars

* * * * *
Table of Contents - Laini's Book Shelf

* * * * *

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

In the Next Galaxy - Ruth Stone

I made this: Avid Reader at 8:00 am 0 comments Links to this post
In the Next Galaxy


Things will be different.
No one will lose their sight,
their hearing, their gallbladder.
It will be all Catskills with brand
new wrap-around verandas.
The idea of Hitler will not
have vibrated yet.

While back here,
they are still cleaning out
pockets of wrinkled
Nazis hiding in Argentina.
But in the next galaxy,
certain planets will have true
blue skies and drinking water.


Ruth Stone


* * * * * 
 A Poetry Moment - Table of Contents 


* * * * * 

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

What I Read On My Holidays Part 8- This Holey Life by Sophie Duffy

I made this: BookElf at 4:22 pm 0 comments Links to this post
This year, I went on a beach holiday. I proper, full blown, Brits Abroad beach holdiay. When I put a call out for holiday reading on Twitter I was chuffed to bits by the response, thank you for all the lovely books sent, although this means my TBR pile ain't going down any faster!
Legend Press is an independent publisher, and This Holey Life is the second book published by them by Sophie Duffy. This cover is bright yellow and lovely, and the blurb sounded too tempting for it not to go in my suitcase, Ryanair bastard baggage limit or no Ryanaire bastard baggage limit.
The story of a highly dysfunctional family centered around Vicky, the reluctant curate's life that reeks more of Katie Fford than Joanna Lumley, this is a feel-good, non-nonsense family saga that was made for lounging about on a beach with.
When Vicky's hideous brother finally gets thrown out by his career-woman wife, he throws in his lot with his sister, coping with a new born baby, a three year old that is obsessed with cleaning, a neglected ten year old growing up too fast, a husband who had abandonned his lucrative career as a plumber after a religious conversion, and a father who may or may not be having an affair with his home help. Vicky herself is also suffering in a more personal way, grieving for the death of her son six years before.
The chaos that unfolds leads to Vicky questioning the importance of family, and whether she herself should pack it all in. It is witty and warm and full of stand out characters. The twists and turns of the plot are well constructed and there is just enough drama to keep it interesting rather than hard work. I love love loved the children especially and this is a family I would like to see again.
Although this book is a little odd in places, jumping for Vicky to the thoughts of other characters,w hich it really doesn't need to do, the adventures of a British family are very well observed, in a way that reminded me a little of Deborah Moggach's Close Relations. As the the whole Church aspect, I couldn't tell you if it is true to life, but fans of Rev will enjoy it.
All in all this is a lovely, if slightly preditable, tale and fans of the more 'mumsy' side of chick lit* will enjoy.

3/5 and a lovely day on a sun lounger-thank you! xx

*not an insult cos I bloody love it!

The LainiBop Challenge - Book 12 The Hunger Games - GUEST

I made this: Avid Reader at 8:00 am 0 comments

READ!TO GO!
12118

The LainiBop Challenge

THE HUNGER GAMES
SUZANNE COLLINS

* * * * *
* * * * * SPOILERS * * * * *
* * * * *

I got a present of The Hunger Games boxset for Christmas but have been trying to put off reading them. There were a couple of reasons for this, namely because I had heard so much hype about them. Now in my opinion there are 2 main problems which can stem from a book in particular having so much hype behind it.
  1. It could be awful. Lots of people have read it and think it's brilliant so the rest of the world feels compelled to agree for fear that they will be thought “uncultured” for not enjoying it. In which case I really didn't want to put myself through something painfully horrible to read. Why would anyone do that to themselves?

  2. It could be brilliant.....now a lot of people may not understand why I think this is a problem, but they are probably the same sort of people who wouldn't understand how I ended up with 130 books on my to be read shelf. See if a book on my shelf is in fact brilliant and I read it, then it has to go on my Read shelf and then I won't have it to look forward to anymore. It'll be one of those that I've read once upon a time. No more suspense, no more carefully caressing it, or pulling it off the shelf to look and then carefully placing it back to be read another day. It's done with and that's it.
    I have a weird relationship with books.
Despite all of this, on a sunny Sunday afternoon, after originally picking a Jeffrey Archer book to begin, I changed my mind and decided I needed to try this out. If it was going to be brilliant, then I can't think of any better time that a sunny Sunday afternoon to find out.

Let's just say, I finished it that evening. It took me 2 sittings, only because I had to make an emergency trip to the shops; even then I dragged myself away from the sunlounger.

Katniss lives in a very different world to ours. In her world the Capitol rules and the 12 districts surrounding it, must comply. Part of this involves each district sending 2 young people between 12 and 18 to an event called the Hunger Games. The Hunger Games just happens to be a fight to the death. The rewards however outweigh the losses in the eyes of many, for whoever wins, will never have to worry about poverty again, and until the next Hunger Games the winner's district will be showered with gifts and food.

Unfortunately for Katniss, her district, number 12 is the poorest one. Unlike 1, 2 and 3 they cannot afford to spend time and money training the young people to fight, district 12's teenagers must just survive if they can. On the day of the Reaping, everyone must gather in the square to watch the names being picked out, and on this day, Katniss Everdeen's younger sister who has just turned 12 is the first name out of the drum. Sacrificing herself for her sister, Katniss volunteers to take her place.

What I loved about this is the immense detail which is given about the world they live in. The rules of The Hunger Games are detailed as are the ceremonies and rituals leading up to it, but it never feels like exposition. It feels real. I flew through the book but yet there was so much information that my mind was reeling after it. I really want to read the next one but now there is even more pressure, see points 1 and 2 above!

Hype in this case was well and truly deserved. I just wish there had been Young Adult books like this around when I was growing up. There seems to be a plethora of them now, with really good, gripping stories and I'm delighted that young people get the chance to indulge in these fantasy worlds and hope they enjoy them and keep reading as adults.

Spotify:

Youtube:


SCORE       9/10



* * * * *
Say Hello to @Lainibop

Her To Be Read Challenge - The Countdown Begins!



Book 30 - ?
Book 29 - ?
Book 28 - Sexing the Cherries by Jeanette Winterson
Book 27 - Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Book 26 - Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer
Book 25 - Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
Book 24 - From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne
Book 23 - Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Book 22 - Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less by Jeffery Archer


Find more reviews HERE

If we've used any videos, you'll find them on the LeedsBookClub YouTube Channel - 

Visit LainiBop's playlist HERE 
Visit Fizzy Elephants HERE
The 10 Things I Hate About You playlist is HERE!
* * * * *
Table of Contents - Guest Stars

* * * * *
Table of Contents - Laini's Book Shelf

* * * * *
 

Leeds Book Club Copyright © 2010 Designed by Ipietoon Blogger Template Sponsored by Online Shop Vector by Artshare