Books: Hauling, reading and reviewing


It has been a while since I spoke soley about books and I figured I had a fair few to talk about, some I have read, others I have bought. I went into Waterstones the other day and came out with 2 books for £1.98-result.

Hauled:

The Primrose Path-Rebecca Griffiths
"Sarah D'Villez famously escaped a man who abducted and held her hostage for 11 days. Her case became notorious. Now, seventeen years later, that man is about to be released from prison. fearful of the media storm that is sure to follow, Sarah decides to flee to rural Wales under a new identity, telling nobody where she's gone"
Settling into the small community she is now part of, Sarah soon realises that someone is watching her. Someone who seems to know everything about her"

I love thrillers and this sounded quick paced and exciting. Probably not the most perfect of literary craftsmanship but a good holiday read none the less.

The Girl With All The Gifts- M. R Carey

"Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell tone collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant Parks keeps the gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don't like her. She jokes that she won't bite. But they don't laugh"

It sounds like it is written from an interesting perspective and is sizeably long which means it will last me a while on holiday. It also had raving reviews ("If you only read on novel this year, make sure its this one") and sounded interesting and unique.

Night Owls-Jenn Bennett

"Crap. He was definitely checking me out. What should I do? Earth to Beatrix. This was the night bus, not a journey song.  Two strangers were not on a midnight train going anywhere.
Meeting Jack on the Owl-San Francisco's night bus- turns Beatrix's world upside down. Jack is charming, wildly attractive and possibly one of San Francisco's most notorious graffiti artists.
But Jack is hiding a piece of himself. On midnight rides and city rooftops, Beatrix begins to see who this enigmatic boy really is.
A unique and profoundly moving novel, Night Owls will linger in your memory long after the final page"

I have finished this but we will get onto my review later on. I picked this up because I was in dire need of a trashy romance, something you can flick through uber quick that doesn't require too much thinking. It sounded light hearted and just the sort of thing I was looking for.

Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children-Ransom Riggs

"A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs.
A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear the that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been quarantined on a desert island for a good reason. And somehow-impossible thought it seems-they may still be alive"

Again, this sounds exciting and unusual, I don't know what to expect but I feel that's the best way to approach a book.

Read:

Night Owls-**

I should have known, reading over the blurb, that this book would be the same as every other trashy romance I have read (which I am actually a fan of, but after the 17th book with sexy artistic mysterious guys and misfit girls, I wanted to vom-E.g: "Someone bumped my arm, and my portfolio flew from my hand (of course it did) My bad, I thought you saw me" A jacket bent over in front of me and picked up my portfolio. When the jacket stood back up, it grew arms and legs and a face that probably competed with Helen of Troy's in the ship-launching department").
Some of the ideas I didn't agree with (there was a strange comment on makeup) and, although it was sex positive (consent etc) there were some attitudes towards a virginal 18 year old that seemed a bit uneasy. It was unrealistic and predictable, they were head-over-heels swooning after meeting each other on the bus which, from the experience I and others I know have endured, doesn't happen all that often.
I was frustrated at the ease of their love, I increasing think novels such as these put unrealistic pressure on relationship expectations.
It also highlighted utter dependency on the male character-an almost life or death scenario.
When will someone write a YA about not needing someone for fulfilment?
Maybe I'm cynical (maybe??!) and I did pick up a romance but I thought it was predictable and totally unrealistic.
An enjoyable and quick read but after 200 pages, I was bloody sick of perfect love.
(for clarification, not everything in the characters lives was perfect and I think the other topics (schizophrenia, divorce, sexuality (I liked how casually they had a gay character, like that was so not a main aspect of the book)) were dealt with really effectively)

The Go Between-LP Hartley-****

I adored this book, as I knew I would.
It is set in Summer and, as it was sunny as I read it, it felt extra special. I love the naive view point and how innocent the protagonist is. At first, it seems like the perfect summer but, because the narrator is so naive, you can see all these sinister activities taking place around him. It made me laugh and cry, I finished it heartbroken at the advantageous attitudes towards Leo.
If I read it again, I think I would pick up on all the hidden metaphors and symbols but I was so engrossed in the story, I didn't really think about it.
I am considering doing this for my A-Level lit coursework so I will definitely be reading it again.

Eventide-Kent Haruf-****

Again, I book that I fell in love with.
Kent Haruf is loved in my family, this is the second one of the trilogy. They follow everyday small town life in Holt, Colorado and are so heart breaking and show all different aspects of all different people in society.
I think I preferred this one to Plainsong, it was quite dark but highlighted utter humanity and the true kindness of some people. You feel you get to know the characters so well as they are presented as totally real and I love how it follows several different stories that eventually weave together in everyday subtle ways.
I was given the third and final one (Benediction) for my birthday and will definitely take it on holiday with me.

The Fallen Idol-Graham Greene-***

I found this chilling sinister but perfect for a comparison with The Go Between. It discusses utter naivety and innocence but also the manipulation of children, very similar to TGB. Both present adults that use children and get them involved in their personal problems, having a detrimental affect on the children.
This is super short but quick paced and very metaphorical, to the point where you aren't always 100% sure what is happening.

Reading;

Wide Sargasso Sea-Jean Rhys

Again, another one for school but I am actually quite enjoying this. It is short (121 pages) which makes it very appealing and has already provided me with some ideas that I had not previously contemplated (the attitudes of the emancipated slaves towards white people in places such as Jamaica).
The blurb reads: this mesmerising work introduces us to Antoinette Cosway, a sensual and protected young women who is sold into marriage to the prideful Mr Rochester. Rhys portrays Cosway admist a society so driven by hatred, so skewed in its sexual relations, that it can literally drive a woman out of her mind.
I don't imagine that this is going to have a positive ending and it is already dark mayhem however it is easy to read and is making me think.
I read somewhere that this text covers themes of Obsession and Possession which I am also considering for coursework in conjunction with Lolita.

If you were looking for a book to read, hopefully I have provided you with some inspiration.
What books have people been reading recently?

11 comments

  1. These all sound so so interesting, particularly Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children. I completely agree with what you said about conventional YA novels, I'm so tired of how predictable they all are. I much prefer something a bit more intense and dark. I'm currently reading We Were Liars by E.Lockhart (I know, I'm pretty late to the party) but I'm really enjoying it so far! Loved reading this Katie!!

    Nabeela :)
    http://nabsticle.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. We were liars is my favourite book!! it breaks all the conventional boundaries which I love. Thank you :)x

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  2. OOOO, I have Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children on my list and am so excited to read it!!! I haven't heard/read the rest, but I will definitely add em to my list!!

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    1. I can't wait to read it!! Good oh, its always good to find new books to add to the never ending list :) x

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  4. The Girl With All The Gifts sounds interesting. I recently read All The Bright Places after many recommendations of it. I can easily call it one of my favorite books. I also recently read Mosquitoland which I haven't seen much talk about. But it was a debut for David Arnold and I really enjoyed it.
    Sundaysaresunny.com

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  5. I've not heard of any of these books before which I like! Sometimes it's nice to be able to just pick up a book that you think looks interesting rather than always reading recommended ones!
    Aleeha xXx
    http://www.halesaaw.com/

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    1. I definitely agree, but it does mean you spend ages choosing haha
      x

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  6. I read Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children-Ransom Riggs and loved it!! I never knew it was becoming a film and that it was part of a triology now, read it so long ago! I reread it a while ago but want to reread againready for the film! Also, I read The Girl With All The Gifts and I really liked it at first, but then just got kind of bored of it but I might try and reread it and actually finish it this time. I like the sound of the last book, a short but intense book is what would be perfect for me to read when back at college!x
    constantlylibby.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. I finished The Girl with All the Gifts last night and I wasn't that impressed-like you say, I just got kinda bored. If i'm honest, I don't understand all they hype that surrounds it...x

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Katie