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I love to read all sorts of genres but my favourites are thrillers, fantasy, sci-fi, travel stories and dramas. I read mostly fiction but I do enjoy reading true stories.

Allegiant

Allegiant - Veronica Roth

I'm not really sure how I feel about this book.  On the one hand I enjoyed parts of it, but on the other hand it felt like more of the same...

This novel is in Four's perspective as well as Tris'.  That is okay, although, Four's internal dialogue sounds very similar to Tris'.  I expected him to be a stronger character based on the first novel.  Sometimes I had to check whose point-of-view I was reading because it was easy to forget.

The pace of the novel seemed to increase then slow down towards the very end. And  I think the amount of injured character's throughout the novels bordered on over-kill. Having said that, I still enjoyed the Divergent Series and I would read the books again. I liked the sci-fi aspect and the final novel filled some holes from the first novel. The ending didn't surprise me but it left me feeling a little flat.  I think I was expecting something outstanding and it fell short. As a fan of The Hunger Games trilogy, the writing style in the Divergent series doesn't come close to the excitement I felt while reading Suzanne Collins' work, hence I'm giving Allegiant 3 and a half stars.  It is entertaining and action-packed but I think the movie, like the first book's, will evoke more emotion from me.

Limbo is the Word

If I Stay - Gayle Forman

I enjoyed this novel but it didn't evoke as much emotion in me as I'd hoped. The story of a family in a car accident and a daughter in a coma, stuck in limbo, having an out-of-body experience is a good one, however, it seemed to be lacking something. I can't pin-point the issue. I can only put it down to the writing style. The story seems more for teenagers. Perhaps it just wasn't gritty enough for me? I'm guessing the movie will be quite sad and I'll definitely watch it. I may even shed a tear. Who knows? I hope so.
I wouldn't say don't read this book. Certainly, the character's are interesting and the story is tragic. It is an easy read and sometimes thought-provoking, but for me, it wasn't memorable enough to give it more than 3 stars. If you enjoyed 'The Lovely Bones' you might like this.

What a Piece of Work, Indeed

What a Piece of Work - Dorothy Porter

I love Dorothy Porter's style of writing, and I love the pace of a verse novel. 
I enjoyed 'What a Piece of Work' even though I didn't like the main character (but I suppose that is the point).
This story is dark, sexual and disturbing. 
Set in a Psychiatric Hospital, all I can say is that I feel sorry for the patients. 
I give this book three and a half stars.

A Verse Novel for Young Adults, with Depth

Jinx - Margaret Wild

I really enjoyed this book. It took me less than two hours to read as it is a story connected by a series of poems about a teenage girl, her family and friends, and the heart-ache that comes with growing up.

Wild uses several points of view in this novel and touches on issues of depression, broken homes, life as a teenager, life as an adult with kids, death, disability, truth, self-destruction, sexuality, single parents and more....

Definitely worth a read for something different. 4 Stars.

Another Easy Read

Insurgent - Veronica Roth

As Tris struggles with her inner demons, she and Four lead the resistance into a battle of courage, betrayal and death, knowing that the death could be their own...

I enjoyed this book but I preferred Divergent. Tris becomes a little annoying at times (doing whatever she feels like). I still like her, but I preferred her in the first book. I give it 3 and a half stars.

Extremely Awesome!

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close - Jonathan Safran Foer

I read this book within a few days. It is quirky and funny as well as tragic.  When a young boy finds a key that belonged to his father, who was killed in 9/11, he sets out to solve the mystery of where it came from and what it opens, in the hope that it will bring him closer to his father...

I really enjoyed this story.  The colourful characters bring the story to life, especially that of the young boy.  I loved his thought process and was intrigued as to where his search would lead him. The only issue I had was the switch in narrators which I sometimes found confusing. For that, I give this book 4 and a half stars.  Well worth a read if you don't lose track.

More Than Just a Travel Story

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail - Cheryl Strayed

I absolutely loved this book from start to finish. Cheryl Strayed tells an honest account of how the death of her Mother lead her to hike the Pacific Crest Trail on her own with an over-weight backpack and too-small boots. It is part memoir, part travel story, often funny, sometimes sad and always entertaining. I highly recommend this.

Helpful For Some...

Better Single Than Sorry - Jennifer Schefft

This book is more for women who have broken up with someone rather than who have been dumped, although there is a small section at the back for dealing with break-ups. It is a book about empowering women not to settle for anything less than what they deserve.

For Teenagers

The Lightning Thief - Rick Riordan

A fantasy about God's and monsters. This is a good one for teenagers. It doesn't have enough grit for an adult, well me, but the story is action-packed and catered to young adults. It is an enjoyable read.

5 Stars - Brilliantly Moving...

The Book Thief - Trudy White, Markus Zusak

The Book Thief is a moving story that will stay with you once you've finished reading. It is sweet, confronting and fairly heavy at times due to the war-related events that occur.
Although I couldn't read it in one go, I loved every bit of the book. The writing is brilliant and almost poetic in the descriptions, and the character's come alive on the page. I give The Book Thief 5 stars.

An Easy Read

Divergent - Veronica Roth

I give this book 3 and a half stars. It was easy to read and I liked the pace of it. I don't really understand the point of the 5 different factions. It seems unnatural to me. But, it's only a story...
Divergent is a mix of predictability and surprise. If I was to compare it to other books, I'd say, the writing is better than Twilight and it has that same secretive feel about it, but the story and action isn't as gripping as The Hunger Games. Still, it is an enjoyable read.

Vomit!

Nights in Rodanthe - Nicholas Sparks

You're going to need a lot of wine and crackers to go with this CHEESE! I don't know why I bother reading Sparks?  He spells everything out and waffles on with unnecessary detail.  I don't care what the character's had for dinner or if they washed their hands. Give me something interesting to read for goodness sake! The first half of the novel bored me and the second half aggravated me with the amount of moosh.  There is romance and then there is 'over-the-top'. Sparks goes too far with the cheese. When I saw the movie, the ending annoyed me because it seems to be a usual formula for Sparks' novels, but I didn't mind the rest of the movie, for a love story. I recommend you give the book a miss and watch the movie, at least it doesn't go for as long as reading the book. Yawn... 

Predictable but Nice Enough...

A Walk to Remember - Nicholas Sparks

I enjoyed the movie to this book, even though it was a bit soppy and made me cry. I saw the movie before I read 'A Walk to Remember', but I saw it years ago so I can't remember if the book and the movie are exactly the same. I think there is a slight variation but they are similar. I gave 'A Walk to Remember' three stars. Although, I enjoyed it more as I got closer to the end, I tend to find Sparks' writing style a bit juvenile as he seems to 'tell' rather than 'show', and sometimes he talks to the reader's like they are stupid and don't know what he is saying e.g. 'Break a leg' in theatre is a common good luck term. I'd say most people know that without him explaining it.
Having said that, I enjoy the fact that I can read a Sparks book without really thinking because I can usually work out what is going to happen. There aren't many surprises and the formula is usually the same. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, there is some reason they can't be together or a conflict enfolds, then one of the character's in the book dies. Usually the ending involves a resolution or something sad and mooshy. The end. I can see why they make nice romantic movies but as novels they lack something. I can only put it down to the writing style. I'd read another Sparks book again because I'm sometimes in the mood for a bit of fluff and a sweet story, but I never expect the work to be more than average. The 'Notebook' was the only exception I've come across so far.

Time Waits for No Man...Or Does it?

The Time Keeper - Mitch Albom

This is a story about three different people and their obsessions with time. It is a story with a message for the characters and the readers. A simple and easy story to read, although you won't always like the characters' choices. I enjoyed this story for what it was: a fable of sorts that stems over thousands of years. I give it three stars.

If You're Into Theatre...

Me and Orson Welles - Robert Kaplow

'Me and Orson Welles' is one of those books that starts off a bit strange but by the end I was really enjoying it.

My main issue was the thrown-in quotes from various plays that seemed to create a dis-jointedness when reading. I would start to wonder what the point was, but by the end, I realised that this is a book about theatre, the people in it and the stress related to putting on a show. It is a book about egos and trying to fit in in a place where everyone is trying to be someone. It also gives you a backstage glimpse of what can go on behind the curtain.

'Me and Orson Welles' frustrated and delighted me. I'd be interested to see the movie to get a glimpse of what the final performance was like. 

 

  

Respect for Wall Street Wolf

The Wolf of Wall Street - Jordan Belfort

What an entertaining read. Jordan Belfort has done it all to the point of madness! From Wall Street to addictions, family, friends and illegal activity, this candid story of his rise and fall leaves nothing to the imagination. One might say that his account is over-the-top, but when you have millions of dollars, you can buy practically anything. This, he finds out both the easy and hard way. 'The Wolf of Wall Street' is definitely worth reading. You will like Jordan, and sometimes you will loathe him, but you have to respect him. I give this book 4 stars.  

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Augusten Burroughs
Under the Tuscan Sun
Frances Mayes