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Monthly Archives: November 2014

The Secrets Sisters Keep by Sinead Moriarty

Once again pretty damn close to perfection for a chick lit read. This is a follow on from Me and My Sisters that I read only a few short weeks ago. I very rarely read books from the same author close together it’s a weird thing of mine that prevents me from over dosing on a particular author or genre but sometimes I do make allowances and with Ms Moriarty there is no need to worry about her writing style ever becoming tiresome. She is a genius. If all chick lit books read like hers I’d read a heck of a lot more of them.

We meet up with the Devlin sisters around four years on from where we left them at the end of the previous book. There are a few major changes, mainly Julie and her family have inherited huge money and have gone from struggling to pay bills to sending their kids to the best private school in the country. Also Sophie and her husband have split up and he is now shacked up with a twenty year old TV presenter much to Sophie’s utter horror and shame. Louise is pretty much still the same but Clara has grown into a very withdrawn, quiet but extremely intelligent four year old.

They all go through major ups and downs in this book and because Moriarty is such a good writer you feel these ups and downs along with them. It’s been a long time since a book made me laugh out loud or get choked up and cry but this one did both. The humor is once again spot on and I especially love the Irishness to it!

The only teeny tiny flaw is that as was the story with the last instalment it’s a tad predictable. Maybe because I know someone that has Aspergers I saw it coming more easily but I could see that Clara clearly had issues not normal for a four year old nearly immediately. The whole situation with Pippa and Jess was very easy to see coming too but to be honest I don’t think that the author was really trying to hide many of these things. I actually think that she likes the readers to have it figured out before she reveals it in the book. I don’t know why I think that I just do.

I love Sinead Moriarty. She has surpassed my old favourite Irish author Cecelia Ahern to become my number one and I don’t see it changing any time soon.

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Posted by on November 28, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Dare Me by Megan Abbott

So I detested Abbotts other book that I’ve read and even though this had similar elements it was definitely a lot more exciting. It made the annoying parts more tolerable because you at least still wanted to know where the book was headed.

Basically it centers around a group of cheerleaders who get a new coach who at first is quite introverted and quiet but slowly starts to let some of the girls in. Addy, our protagonist, craves the Coachs attention more than any of the other girls and seems to be willing to go to great lengths to get it. Coach knows how to play the young girls and does so in quite a scary manner.

There was problems with this book because I refuse to believe that young teenage girls can be quite that vindictive and evil and that a woman in a position of authority could so easily abuse it. Okay I’m not stupid, I know teenage girls can be mean (trust me I have first hand knowledge of this) but the lengths of their evilness in this book is surely unrealistic. Right? Right??

And yes I know people in authority can abuse their position but again the lengths that this woman goes to is also surely unrealistic. Who thinks ringing a 16 year old girl to help you cover up a crime is a good idea? I’m pretty sure nobody.

I also don’t love the authors writing style. It’s stunted and dreamlike as if the protagonist is always having incoherent thoughts almost. She writes as most people think and it’s a bit strange. I’m not sure if I actually hate it but it definitely doesn’t immediately appeal. However I do feel that’s it’s something I could grow to love in time.

Not as bad as her previous novel but I don’t love her yet.

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Posted by on November 23, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Pretties by Scott Westerfeld (Uglies #2)

I read one or two reviews of this book that weren’t too great. There seems to be a bit of disappointment in some fans for turns this book took but I don’t think I agree with them. Sure it may not have had the same amount of thrills as the first book but second books in a series very rarely do. The part I liked the most is the fact that the author changed it up a bit and kept us readers on our toes.

Although in the first instalment you obviously rooted for Tally to get away from the city and live happily ever after with David in the wild, there was always a teeny tiny part of me that wanted to see what being ‘pretty’ would do to Tally. I wanted to live in that world for awhile and see how it worked. I wanted to see how other Pretties lived and were they all as brain dead as they appeared. They aren’t, it turns out.

In the beginning Tally is what seems to be your typical new Pretty. A vapid, vain and seemingly quite stupid person. However as the book progresses we see snippets of the real Tally start to come out and I was also pleasantly surprised at how much most of the Pretties actually retain of their own personality. They may have their moments of extreme stupidity and vanity but they are just that, moments.

I usually absolutely detest the introduction of “love triangles” especially in young adult books because of the absolute ridiculousness of the situation but somehow the author did make this one work better than most. I liked Zane first of all. He seemed genuine and nice even though he had his Pretty moments too. Maybe because it’s been awhile since I read the first book but I was definitely rooting for Zane and not David which is unusual for me because I’m a typical underdog-lover. However if they bring in this Andrew as some kind of “love square” I will protest. Love triangles are enough.

Thoroughly enjoyed this and will be coming back for more as soon as I have time!

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Posted by on November 18, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

The Time of my Life by Cecelia Ahern

Somehow I missed this book when it was originally released. I’ve been a pretty consistent Cecelia Ahern fan but this one slipped under my radar.

It was quite nice to read a book from her that was written a while back actually because her style was slightly different back then. Her books were more on the fantasy side of things whereas now she is just chick lit with a slight edge.

While I do love the fantasy edge to her older stuff this one was a little strange. Basically Lucy is stuck in a bit of a rut so she gets a letter to invite her to meet with…

Wait for it…

Her life. Yep her life, who turns out to be a rather dishevelled, worn out, middle-aged man. He starts to try and break her bad habits slowly but surely. Eventually he begins to get through to her but it takes time and I felt like screaming at her a lot of the time. The fact that she couldn’t see Blake for what he really was is kind of shocking because from her first description of him he sounds like a complete dick.

It was a tad confusing at times because sentences such as “I need some space from my life” took on a whole new meaning and you had to rethink a lot of sentences and wonder was there double meaning in them. However if you took the book at face value and just accepted the story as it came I think it would have been even more enjoyable.

I did enjoy it but there were definitely areas that could have been improved on. A nice pleasant read.

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Posted by on November 14, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Me and My Sisters by Sinead Moriarty

This is pretty close to perfection for a book in the chick lit category. I’ve read Sinead Moriarty before and I remember thinking her books are literally laugh-out-loud brilliant. This one was no different. She just has that ability to write characters that you fall head over heels in love with.

This book centers around three sisters who are all very different from each other. Julie is the tired, worn out, stay-at-home mum of five year old triplets and a toddler. Louise is the career minded, independent, extremely successful lawyer. And Sophie is a lady-who-lunches, wife to a rich business man who showers her with extravagant gifts and trips. At the beginning of the book none of the three sisters have a huge amount in common but as time goes on they realise that friends will come and go but family are here to stay.

It was a really refreshingly lovely read. I found I could empathise differently with each one of the sisters and I had something in common with every one of them. However I did lean towards Julie the most. I struggle sometimes with day-to-day life of being a mum to my 2 year old so trying to handle three 5 year olds and an 18 month old sounds like hell to me to be honest.

I laughed when I read Louise’s character because she reminded me so, so much of my own sister who is also called Louise and who is also very career minded and who is also just about to have a baby!! I was glad that she realised in the end how important it was to be around her little daughter as much as possible. I’m thinking of passing this book onto Louise for a read just to see her reaction!

Sophie was the sister that was the least likeable in the beginning. She was a good mum to Jess and seemed to be a nice generous person but nothing more. She was ridiculous when it came to spending money and her friends were the stereotypical arrogant, snobby housewives. Horrible, horrible people. However by the end Sophie grew on me and her reaction to her husbands loss of money makes you like her even more.

The only little flaws were that it was very predictable. I could see that Sophie was going to lose her money at some stage after reading the first chapter from her. I guessed fairly early on in the scenario that Harry had a daughter and wasn’t having an affair. However chick lit books aren’t meant to be hard books to figure out. They’re supposed to be easy to read. I would have liked to be surprised at some of the twists but I still enjoyed this book immensely. Well worth the read.

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Posted by on November 9, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Say You’re One Of Them by Uwem Akpan

I’ll openly admit I’m pretty damn ignorant when it comes to international politics and affairs. I watch the news and I read the papers sure, but I still don’t know much about all the conflicts that go on across the globe. Some I know better than others and some I haven’t the foggiest what’s going on.

Bearing that in mind I picked up this book with the vague hope of learning something about Africa and the troubles and conflicts that are going on there. The problem I found with this book was mostly mine. The author assumed that the reader would know what was going on and I shamefully had no clue. Still I did pick a lot up as I read so I have learnt something I hope!

I also did not realise that this was a collection of short stories and not just one novel. I’m not entirely sure how I felt about that either. The main problem I have with short stories is that just as you are getting into the plot and starting to love the characters it’s over. This was no different. I would have preferred to have two stories drawn out a bit more than to have the five crammed into one book.

Some stories I liked more than others. The story with the two kids being sold to child traffickers was interesting and also the very short story at the beginning of the book about the family living on the street and begging for a living was gripping. The others were a bit too depressing and brutal for me to love. I know these are all based on true events that happened in different areas of Africa so it only made the child abuse scenes and murder more horrific to read.

The other problem I had with this book is the writing. I have issues with authors using accents in books. It’s like when the Americans produce a film based in another country and have the natives speaking broken English to each other instead of their own language. Why bother with broken English. They wouldn’t be speaking in broken English to each other they would be speaking in their own native tongue so if you’re going to be incorrect anyway why not just use proper English? I find it insulting seeing these American actors speaking in atrocious German accents. Either learn German or just speak in your normal English voice. It’s the same with books. These people wouldn’t be speaking in English would they? So why not just translate what they’re saying into the correct English translation instead of a terrible, barely legible African accent. Personally I find it difficult to read a book where people’s accents and way of speaking is nearly unintelligible to me. I think the author was attempting to add atmosphere and whatnot but I think I would have felt that anyway.

Not a bad book but definitely not an easy read in any way.

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Posted by on November 2, 2014 in Uncategorized