Sunday, 27 May 2012

Forgotten by Cat Patrick

I hate to say it, but I did not like this book. The main character, London Lane, had a rare condition in which every morning at 4.33 am, her mind resets and she can remember nothing of the past twenty four hours. She can, however, remember her future (ignoring the fact that the solutions to this giant problem that London used were unrealistic, and boiling down to it the whole idea is unrealistic in that it would be very hard to live a normal life like that, you've got to admit it sounds kind of interesting). There was a lot of potential here, and the book started well, despite giving the reader little introduction to what was happening to London. I was interested in what the author was going to do with such an interesting character. Unfortunately, she didn't do anything as brilliant as I'd hoped. She made a romance. This was fine at first. It was sweet and fluffy and borderline interesting. I figured it would be a story line that was just introducing us to the way London worked, soon to back off to allow for a more exciting story line. It did this eventually, but about 75% of the book was wasted on romance by the time it did. It was an awful waste. The second story line (I won't give anything away) could have been very interesting. But instead, it was rushed, unexplained and unfinished. It was sort of a "Oh yes, and this happens, but I don't have enough book time left so I'll squish it in at the end". Also, it didn't really...end. Just as it got most interesting, the book finished, and we were suddenly in an epilogue. I assumed that the story lines would be resolved there, which I was willing to grudgingly accept, but alas, no such luck. The short epilogue quickly brushed very important things aside and went back to how lovely the romance was however many years on. Fin. There were a lot of other things left unresolved as well. For example, a collection of things that London 'remembers' are going to happen that never do, or conflicts suddenly becoming resolved in bizarre ways. I didn't like this book, though from reading online reviews I see that lots of young adult fiction readers disagree. I suppose if you like romance and/or don't have a lot of expectations, maybe it could be a good book. I don't know, it wasn't for me, and I wouldn't recommend it.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Jane Austen Stole My Boyfriend by Cora Harrison

This book is the sequel to Jane Austen Is My Best Friend, but I think it can cope fairly well as a stand-alone.

The book is set in the 1700s, following the life of a young Jane Austen via the journal of her best friend Jenny Cooper. It was undeniably cute, and I liked the period aspect. It was fun and pretty and enjoyable. Romantic, even.

This book I think was a bit young for me. Of course there were conflicts but some seemed trivial and never came to any sort of climax. For example, a number of people received anonymous letters being mean about Jane, but this story was essentially brushed under the carpet when Jane stated she knew who they were from. After that, there was no word of this.
Not to mention the terribly rushed ending. I must admit I was a bit surprised when a potential plot changer was introduced in the closing few pages of the book. Within about two pages though, the whole thing was resolved in time for the happy ending.
Maybe I'm just too old for the book. I brought it at the beginning of last summer when had I book token for special school contribution or something, and thought the pretty hardback would look nice when presented. I had also read the first book, and recognized the author, so thought I might as well try it. My reading tastes have just changed.

Basically, it wasn't strong enough for me, as someone who likes angst. That doesn't mean to say though, that it was a bad book. If you like romance and sweetness, read it.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Matched by Ally Condie

I'm not sure how I feel about this one. I read it because a website recommended it to me as a book to read after The Hunger Games, and despite the fact that there are follow ups (or maybe just one) I have only read the first.

I won't say I didn't like it, because I did. There were parts that were very nice to read, sweet and light hearted (particularly after The Hunger Games) and I generally love the futuristic civilization sub category of fiction anyway. What I was particularly fond of was how the ideas of the new regime in Matched made sense - I could envision the events actually taking place in accordance with today's situation.

I felt that parts of the story line, notably some points near the beginning, seemed a little forced. They didn't flow quite right, or didn't feel natural. I also feel that a bit more detail about the characters (the main character, Cassia, included) would have given the book a whole lot more meaning. To me, the most meaningful character was Ky, a mysterious and increasingly interesting boy. I would have connected more with Cassia, as well as some of the other main characters if I knew more than what Condie told me.

I'm torn. The book was good, and I enjoyed reading it. But I still haven't made up my mind whether or not to read the sequel.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

The (Unofficial) Hunger Games Companion by Lois Gresh

Okay, I know that this isn't a stand alone book, but it links in with my last review, and I have some opinions.

Basically, this book (by Lois H. Gresh) offers an outside opinion to the book series 'The Hunger  Games'. It was not what I was expecting, but I managed with that. To be honest, the book is basically one big essay. This isn't the problem, since I didn't mind the layout or formality. I also didn't mind how opinionated it was, despite disagreeing with some of them. Well, actually I did mind in some respects. Having read the book, I have to wonder how well Gresh understood the original novels: she frequently refers to Katniss as a "sweet", "innocent" young girl, which for anyone who has read the Hunger Games, seems like a very misguided opinion. Gresh seems to have read Katniss as a flawless, tragic yet friendly teenager who wouldn't hurt a fly: obviously the fact that Katniss broke the law daily, had a short temper and didn't like making friends made no impact on Gresh. Also, considering the point of the 'Companion' was to offer opinion, it seems silly that whenever Gresh pointed out a mistake or something that was not logical, she would rush to assure that reader that the novels were still amazing and that readers can ignore any mistake because of the beautiful characters and interesting plot.

The 'Companion' isn't bad. It just wasn't all that amazing. It was a real mixture of interesting insights and extras, combined with a whole load of over admiration and naive opinions. If I were you, I wouldn't bother.