Monday, 26 May 2014

May Book Reviews


I seem to go through phases with reading and, recently, I’ve been devouring books left, right and centre. I think it depends on me having books at hand and ready to go, as well as if they are gripping or easy reads. I took quite a few books with me on my travels back in April as well as spending my lunch hour tucked in to a book; so here are a few of my recent reads and what I thought of them.

These are definitely reviews rather than summaries of the books, so they will contain spoilers and probably won’t make much sense if you’ve not read the books. They’re pretty popular though, and I’d love to hear what you think of them and if you agree of disagree with me – pop your thoughts in the comments so we can have a geeky discussion!

Will Grayson, Will Grayson
John Green & David Levithan

I felt like ‘the other Will’s' character changed quite quickly in the book and I didn’t warm to him at all in those first few chapters. His character changed pretty suddenly after meeting Tiny and I felt like that wasn’t very realistic. I think both authors wrote about depression well and used good metaphors throughout to describe the illness. It was a light hearted read by the end, heavy at first and very character focused. It’s a young adult book, and it handled LGBT relationships well without being clich├ęd. A lot of people liked this book on Goodreads but for me it was pretty unmemorable, with not too much plot and the ending feeling unbelievable. The finale wasn’t really about the 2 Will Graysons at all but just Tiny Cooper – I felt like it should have been his name in the title somewhere! The book had funny moments though and was a quick read. 3/5

Looking For Alaska
John Green

Another book that a lot of people have been raving about. This is John Green’s debut novel and, as with most of his books, was very well written. However, it had quite a slow start and a big lead up to the main event, but I was left disappointed with the lack of aftermath. It’s a deep book and as usual in JG’s books, there are some wonderful passages and memorable quotes that explain teenage experiences and feelings perfectly. I didn’t warm to Alaska particularly and felt she was very selfish, although her mood swings and attitude are referenced several times in the book so I’m not sure if I was supposed to like her or not. Overall, I think it’s an OK book. It’s not phenomenal and, as the internet would say, this one didn’t hit me in the feels. 2.5/5

The Shock of the Fall
Nathan Filer

A realistic glimpse into mental illness that I feel was communicated really effectively in an emotional and interesting way. This is Filer’s debut novel and I was thoroughly impressed by it. The book is rather back and forth with the scattered events and jumping timeline which matches the character of Matt perfectly but was a little confusing at times. There is no conclusion and rightfully so in the context of the book. Mental illness doesn’t just suddenly go away and have a happy ending and I agree with the way it finished; you have good days and bad days and you carry on. The little illustrations throughout the book and the different fonts (to show the typewriter) works really well and added an extra element to Matt’s character. I thoroughly enjoyed this one and if I were to encourage you to read just one book from this list, this would be it. 4/5

Veronica Roth

I really liked this book and I couldn’t put it down. It took me a while to start reading this series because I thought it would be a Hunger Games rip off. It has many parallels to THG, but the latter is far more complex and thought out that the two can’t really be compared. This is another dystopian novel that seems to be all the rage at the moment but Divergent seemed a little rushed in comparison. I liked the characters, especially Tris and Four’s relationship though I didn’t feel connected to the deaths at the end of the book and I felt the climax moved too quickly. There are plot holes and flaws, but I devoured it quickly and thoroughly enjoyed the action scenes, which were concise and clear. There are flaws to the story, I read somewhere that Roth wrote this in a month and if true, then I’m not surprised. There is a lot of hype around the series and I’m looking forward to reading the other two – in the hopes that it will clear up a lot of the questions that the book brings up, as well as re-enforcing the back story as it currently seems a rather unbelievable premise. Despite all of the above, I have given it a high rating – I was debating between 3 and 4 but in the end, it was an entertaining read that was hard to put down. 4/5


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  2. I really enjoyed the Divergent trilogy - I also wasn't sure I would, but was pleasantly surprised and just could not put it down.

    Beccy // Bluebell & Bumpkin

  3. Oooh it's lovely to read a review where someone didn't enjoy Looking for Alaska. I'm not reading as much at the moment since having my son but for the past few years I've been reading 50 books a year and used the internet for a lot of my book recommendations. When I came across Looking for Alaska and all the hype I was so disappointed. I felt that I had wasted so much time reading it. To be honest it put me off from reading another John Green book. I did bite the bullet last year and read The Fault in our Stars which I did enjoy, still not as much as the internet but I enjoyed the read.
    I'm currently reading Wonder by RJ Palacio which so far is utterly fantastic. I'm only part way through and recommend it already. That's if you haven't picked it up already.

    Katie |

  4. I really loved the Divergent series and I would recommend them to anyone! :)
    I have Looking For Alaska sitting on my 'to-be-read' bookshelf and I've actually never heard of Will Grayson, Will Grayson!
    Great reviews!! xo

  5. I was tempted to buy The Shock of the Fall on Amazon this afternoon but didn't because I was unsure if it'd be any good, but I may just have to now!