mybookishthoughts

“As a child, Kathy—now thirty-one years old—

lived at Hailsham, a private school in the scenic English countryside where the children were sheltered from the outside world, brought up to believe that they were special and that their well-being was crucial not only for themselves but for the society they would eventually enter. Kathy had long ago put this idyllic past behind her, but when two of her Hailsham friends come back into her life, she stops resisting the pull of memory. “

Having read ‘Remains of the Day’ for my A-Level studies, I had high expectations for Never Let Me Go. This novel did not disappoint, I absolutely loved it and it had such a poignant message that I couldn’t stop thinking about for days after.

The truths about Hailsham are revealed so subtly and so slowly that once it is finally realised you have already come to love the characters and it makes it even more harrowing.

I adored the characters in the novel, Kathy had such a strong voice and the other characters were really well-developed as well even though we only heard about them through Kathy’s observations.

I can’t wait to see the film although I’m not sure if it will be as good as I believe they make it apparent from the start as to why the children are at Hailsham and I think not knowing is part of what made the book so wonderful.

Like Stevens in Remains of the Day, Ishiguro has created an intensely heart wrenching story that makes you fall in love with the characters and completely share in their anguish. I would recommend this book to anyone as I believe that It really could act as a warning to what some lengths some people may go to to find cures for illnesses.

10/10

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The Industrialist
Henrik Vanger, head of the dynastic Vanger Corporation, is tormented by the loss of a child decades earlier and convinced that a member of his family has committed murder.

The Journalist

Mikael Blomkvist delves deep into the Vangers’ past to uncover the truth behind the unsolved mystery. But someone else wants the past to remain a secret and will go to any lengths to keep it that way.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Lisbeth Salander, the enigmatic, delinquent and dangerous security specialist, assists in the investigation. A genius computer hacker, she tolerates no restrictions placed upon her by individuals, society or the law.

Ok, so I haven’t done a very good job at updating this blog. Oops. I said I wasn’t very good! I have however made very good progress on the challenge and will try to upload all my reviews.

This was my first crime novel so I wasn’t sure what to expect but having heard good reviews on the Millennium Series from my friends, family and various reading communities I decided to give it a go.

I really enjoyed reading this novel; I thought the characters were really well developed and engaging. I especially liked Blomkvist as a character. I also thought that the story was really exciting and there were lots of unexpected twists and turns in the story which I wasn’t expecting. Although at times the book was quite graphic and gruesome, I think it added to the overall tense atmosphere in the novel which I think made it all the better.

Hopefully I will be able to read the second in the series at some point this year although after the Shiver –> Linger fiasco I’ve decided to try and read different genres each time so that I dont get bored of any.

10/10

In Maggie Stiefvater’s Shiver, Grace and Sam found each other. Now, in Linger, they must fight to be together. For Grace, this means defying her parents and keeping a very dangerous secret about her own well-being. For Sam, this means grappling with his werewolf past . . . and figuring out a way to survive into the future. Add into the mix a new wolf named Cole, whose own past has the potential to destroy the whole pack. And Isabel, who already lost her brother to the wolves . . . and is nonetheless drawn to Cole.

After Enjoying Shiver so much I decided to move straight on to Linger expecting to be as thrilled with it as I was by Shiver. I was however dissapointed with Stiefvaters second novel which I felt lacked almost everything which I had loved about Shiver.

Its hard to review a second book in the series without giving too much away but I just felt that the plot of Linger felt a bit like it was back tracking upon Shiver. I also didnt like the addition of Cole and Isabel as narrators as I prefered it when I was just Sam and Grace although I accept that narratives must evolve.

I did enjoy the book it just was not as delightful as shiver. I will still be reading Forever, the third book in the series when it is published however and hope to enjoy it as much as I did Shiver.

6/10

“For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf—her wolf—is a chilling presence she can’t seem to live without. Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human … until the cold makes him shift back again.

Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It’s her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human—or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.”

One of my friends has been going on and on about Shiver for about 2 years now. I have to admit I was initially reluctant to read Shiver, as in my opinion, it looks like a Twilight rip off for Team Jacob fans. However, I heard good reviews off other people on book forums and so decided to take the plunge and borrow it from my friend.

I flew through Shiver in a day. By having the story told from the perspectives of both Sam and Grace, it kept the story fast paced. It was a nice simple read. It wasn’t the best written piece of prose in the world but it was very engaging and didn’t require too much focus to read. The characters were well developed and I really felt for both Grace and Sam throughout the course of the book.

I’m not going to lie and pretend that Shiver is nothing like Twilight. It is similar in many respects. It has the same target audience of teenage girls. It has the same basic idea of ‘forbidden love’, not to mention the similarities between Sam and Edward who are both ‘monsters’. I could go on to talk about the similar prose styles or the similar long winded descriptions of food preparation but I would like to stress that whilst they are similar they are not the same.

Personally, I prefer Edward and Bella as a couple. I just think that theres more romance in Edward deciding to love Bella rather then kill her…if I can make that sound non-sadistic. However, Sam and Grace are a more believable couple. I grew tired of Edwards ‘perfect gentleman’ attitude throughout the Twilight series. Sam and Grace just seem like a normal couple and thats why the events of the novel are so moving.

I would definitely recommend these books to anyone who liked Twilight, just don’t start moaning about how Maggie copied Stephanie as she had written the first draft before Twilight was published. If you didn’t like Twilight then you probably wont like Shiver. Simple.

I loved Shiver, it was a nice easy read that made me smile. The ending was fantastic and the characters really easy to relate to. For me it was a real winner.

10/10

“On a world supported on the back of a giant turtle (sex unknown), a gleeful, explosive, wickedly eccentric expedition sets out. There’s an avaricious but inept wizard, a naive tourist whose luggage moves on hundreds of dear little legs, dragons who only exit if you believe in them, and of course THE EDGE of the planet…”

Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels have always intrigued me. There seemed to be an endless number of them available to buy which obviously proved that they did infact sell and there was a market for them and yet I haven’t actually met many people that have read them. Maybe I am too young, maybe Terry Pratchett is the Fantasy novelist for an older generation, yet many people my age have read ‘The Lord of the Rings’ which is a difficult mission. I decided, that after many years of looking at this series from afar, I would read one, the first book in the series and obtained a copy from a swap on the internet.

I enjoyed reading this novel.   I liked how the book was split into several adventures which seemed to get progressively more exciting towards the latter half of the novel. I particularly liked the adventure which involved the ‘imaginary’ dragons. The ending of the book left me wanting more and encouraged me to add the second book in the series to my TBR list.

I wouldn’t say that ‘The Colour of Magic’ was my favourite fantasy novel. I think perhaps I had had a little too much of the bizarre having just read Douglas Adam. I think possibly it had to do with a lack of any intelligent characters, I just kept finding myself getting frustrated at the ineptitude of both protagonists. I think that the lack of chapters may have added to my dissatisfaction with the book. I hate stopping reading midway through a chapter and yet the book was only split into 4 sections which were too long for me to read all in one go without a break. Therefore I felt like reading the book was a bit of a chore at times.

Overall, I enjoyed the book and I can see why Pratchett’s novels would be popular with fantasy lovers. I intend to read more of his series, particularly some of the newer ones as I am told that his style has changed with time. I’m also looking forward to reading the witches series. I reccomend this book to anyone who enjoys fantasy like me, for example, if you love Douglas Adams you will probably have equal feelings of sentiment for Mr Pratchett. Don’t read this book if you’re expecting anything more then a fantasy story; its not a cross genre novel.

7/10

If you’ve done six impossible things this morning, why not round it off with breakfast at Milliways, the Restaurant at the end of the Universe?

Which is exactly what the crew of the Heart of Gold plan to do. There’s just the small matter of escaping the Vogons, avoiding being taken to the most totally evil world in the Galaxy and teaching a space ship how to make a proper cup of tea.

And did anyone actually make a reservation?

The second of the Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy ‘Trilogy’, I decided to delve into the second in the series after enjoying the first thoroughly. I borrowed this off my boyfriend and, due to its lovely short length, read it in a day.

For those of you who haven’t read any Douglas Adams, I know there are still a few out there, then you should deffinitely invest in the first book in this series. It’s much more then a sci-fi fantasy; its cleaver, highly amusing and continuously fascinating as you wonder just what bizarre things are going to happen next.

I didn’t enjoy The Restaurant at the End of the Universe as much as I enjoyed The Hitch-hikers Guide to the Galaxy. I felt that the fist half of the book added very little in substantial plot development  however I did enjoy the ending which makes me more positive for the third in the series.

I think I will still try and continue with the rest of the series, despite being disappointed by the second in the series. I will say however, that it is still an amusing read if you can keep up with some of Adams’s more bizarre ideas.

6/10

“Maggie Monroe is a journalist for New York’s hard-hitting current affairs show Newsline. Independent and fearless, the more cutting-edge the story, the happier she is. But when her next assignment turns out to be an in-depth documentary on the decline of England’s ruling classes, she’s furious at being sent to cover a bloody tea party. “

After reading, and loving, the Eyre Affair I was worried about what book to choose to read next. I considered, that after reading something I so thoroughly enjoyed, anything else I read after would seem poor in comparison. I didn’t want to choose a book Id heard good reports of in case I was biased so I chose a book I hadn’t heard much about and that had been gathering dust on my bookshelf since I rummaged it out of my boyfriends caravan. The front cover immidiately gave me the impression of ‘chick lit’ and I wasn’t holding out much hope.

I finished the book in two days  and was honestly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. There was humour and romance in a perfect combination that never meant the book was clichéd. Told from the perspective of two characters, Daniel and Maggie, the constant changes of voice meant that the book never ceased to be engaging and I literally couldn’t put it down.

This book has really altered the way I think about some of the aristocracy of Britain; I live in Derbyshire where there are lots of stately homes and I’d never considered why families might open up these wonderful houses to the public.

Whilst it wasn’t anything like as exciting as The Eyre Affair, Hunting Unicorns was an engaging story that I’d recommend for anyone who wanted some light reading.

7/10

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  • puckishwird: Hi there. Just read the fourth book in the series and reviewed it. Great stuff isn't it?
  • jesslaurelwilliams: Thankyou. Hopefully, It wont take away my love of reading too much. If I dont achieve my goal, at least I will have read some good books along the way
  • inspiritual: Well that's what I call a resolution! Don't forget to keep enjoying the process (of reading)! And good luck indeed!

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