Uncategorized

The Night Circus

Image

I read “The Night Circus” quite a while ago and had no idea what to expect. I knew it was rather popular but I deliberately kept away from any synopsis’s of the book so that I could discover the story myself. Thankfully the blurb was rather ambiguous which I see now was probably done deliberately. 

 

Uncategorized

It’s been a while but here we are: Uglies

Image

 

It’s been a while WordPress since I’ve posted and for that I apologize. What with A Level exams and going to Amsterdam I’ve hardly had the time! (A poor excuse I’m aware) however I’m back and ready to start blogging again.

So I begin with the first of three books I’ve read since finishing exams; Uglies by Scott Westerfield.

I was always aware that this was a teen book or “young adult novel” which this genre is often labelled as, however I was in no way prepared for the childish and slightly patronizing writing style. In theory the idea of the plot was a good one; set in the future where an operation to become ‘beautiful’ is compulsory for those turning 16, with a group of rebels refusing to join in with social normality. But I feel that the writing was just too obviously written for young teenagers. Though impressed that the (male) writer captured the speech and mannerisms of a 16 year old girl, I feel that it just wasn’t mature enough to count as a “young adult novel”.
Some parts were exciting and I appreciated the concept of the future society’s obsession with beauty, but the romance between the protagonist Tally and the infamous David was just too obvious and cliché. 

All in all not a bad book but would have preferred it a lot more 5 or so years ago. 2/5

Uncategorized

In Memory: A bitter-sweet note

This isn’t something I would usually blog about or to be honest talk about, but I feel that it would be good for me to express myself, even if it’s a hard thing to do.

Today marks the first anniversary of my Granddad’s passing. He wasn’t that old; 74, but he had a great life. Not long ago I found out that he had been a professional footballer in his youth, along with many other great things.The thing about my granddad, was that he loved history. Every time I saw him he would talk about the war, or about a historical book he was reading. We would spend hours on his golden armchair talking about the things I was studying in my history lessons! I remember one time, he took me to an air-raid shelter in Brighton that he had used as a child, which was not only one of the most eye-opening experiences I’ve ever had, but the closest I had ever felt to my Granddad.

Something else my granddad taught me, was to love books. To be honest I think he’s the reason for my love of literature. When I was quite young (about 8 or 9) he introduced me to The Famous Five books. I think they were the first books series I ever read, outside of Harry Potter. I have fond memories of sitting in his garden, in the sunshine, reading The Famous Five for hours on end. I loved them! I had them on story tapes and even the computer game (which to this day is still great).

I would say that my Granddad inspired my love of books, with his bedtime stories when I stayed over, and his home-made story tapes. He was truly great at making up stories! My favourite is still the story of the snowman, who threw a gigantic tea party for the neighbourhood.

So basically, I would like to dedicate this blog post to my Granddad, who is a true inspiration to all his grandchildren. May his memory and his stories live on for all eternity.

edit five

Uncategorized

The science of deduction

holmes

It’s been a while since I last posted, due to all the crazy A2 exam and results hype, but thankfully that’s over for a while.

Last night I finished Sherlock Holmes: Hound of the Baskervilles. I must say for my first Sherlock Holmes novel, I was impressed. The language wasn’t as Victorian and hard to swallow as I thought, meaning that I could easily follow the story without having to look up complicated words in the dictionary.

I loved the supernatural element within the story, with the mysterious hound stalking the moor.Though I have to say, I was suspicious of the Stapleton’s from the start…The whole ‘naturalist’ vibe was giving me the creeps.
I also thought the narration from Watson was good, as it gave a newbies perspective to the case. I was actually really impressed with the story and I never would have guessed that the Stapleton’s were husband and wife! I thought that the story was full of twists and turns, and the criminal on the moor really stirred things up!

All in all, I thought it was a great book and a great start to the Sherlock series, with a gripping story to keep you guessing till the end. I will definitely be reading more Sherlock books in the future! 4.5/5

Uncategorized

The Book Thief

the-book-thieff

I just finished reading The Book Thief by Markus Zusak and it is beautiful! It’s set in 1939-1943, in Nazi Germany, following the story of Liesel Merminger; a nine year old girl who steals books.

It’s narrated by Death which gives the book a unique quirkiness. At first I thought the occasional side notes where distracting from the story but I soon got used to them.
In turn, Death meets Liesel 3 times in the book, which we see in different stages of the story. The book is in chronological order, however sometimes the reader is shown parts of the story before they happen. (Like seeing a death at the start of the film, then seeing the events leading up to that death, coming in full circle)

I thought the story was thought-provoking and beautifully written. It really does paint a picture of living in the Second World War and in Nazi Germany. When Max, (the Jew that is hidden in Liesel’s house) has to flee Munich, my heart went with him!
I felt that the character of Hans Hubermann (or Papa) was shown beautifully and realisticly, I think everyone can relate to having a father figure like him.

*SPOILER ALERT*
When Molching Street is bombed my heart shattered into pieces! When Liesel sees the dead body of Rudy and finally gives him the kiss he’s always wished for, I broke down into tears! Damn you Zusak and your beautiful writing!

Apart from the waterworks [I really need to read happier books!] this book was incredible! Thought-provoking and eye-opening. 5/5