Friday 16 August 2013

Miniminimini Reviews!

While I was away, as previously mentioned, I read quite a bit. However on returning I’ve found myself without the momentum to actually write proper sized reviews of any of the books, so with the exception of The Girl Who Fell Below Fairyland and Led the Revels There which I am absolutely determined to do full justice to, here are some tiny, bitesized reviews which are really more just my thoughts/opinions. There will be no pictures, due to previously mentioned internet rubbishness!

Un Lun Dun by China Mieville
I feel bad about this, because Un Lun Dun was good enough that it really deserves a full review, but I just know with my motivation and internet connectivity the way they are at the moment, if I don’t include it in this post it will just sit on the side and never get reviewed and I’d rather say not enough about it than nothing at all.
It’s another book about a parallel London, and is in lots of ways vaguely reminiscent of Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere, in the best of all possible ways. Aimed at a slightly younger audience, the protagonist is a young girl, Deeba, and the book follows her adventures in UnLondon and her quest to save it from a terrible oppressor. It has some gorgeous passages, especially the one where Deeba finds her way to UnLondon by climbing up the shelves of books in a library. This was the passage which first made me want to read it when I read it in The Library Book, and I can report that if you like Neverwhere, or really any kind of fiction in which anybody saves stuff from bad guys (Harry Potter, anyone?) then you should be reading this. Thank you Charlotte for sending it to me!

Second Chance by Jane Green
I bought this on holiday, and it was pretty much a Jane Green book. A little deeper than a lot of her ‘chick lit’ counterparts, this novel follows the story of schoolfriends who haven’t seen each other for years, reunited after the tragic death of another of their friends. I enjoyed it, and I read it in a day, so that was good, but it wasn’t as good as The Love Verb, or other of her books that I’ve read.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Again, I’ve tried to write a full review of this, but it seems that John Green is destined to be woefully underappreciated in print on this blog. He is definitely fully appreciated in actuality, although the words never make it to paper. The Fault in Our Stars is about 16 year old Hazel, who is living with terminal cancer; her life prolonged by a ‘miracle’ drug which doesn’t work in 70% of people. When she meets Augustus Waters it seemed like this was going to be a typical ‘boy meets girl’ type thing, and it was, but it also wasn’t. The story is really about expectations, and what drives people to behave the way that they do, and what kind of effect knowing that you’re going to die has on the way you live your life. And because it’s John Green, there is a slightly unexpected twist, and it is beautifully written. Obviously.  Not my favourite of his (I think An Abundance of Katherine’s still holds that title, but I still have Paper Towns to go) but definitely good and thought provoking.

The Accidental Marriage by Jane Green
Found it in the library and since I seem to be on a bit of a Jane Green kick at the moment and hadn’t read it I thought I should pick it up. It’s about two women living on opposite sides of the country who seem to have nothing in common, until they both discover a life-shattering secret. I didn’t enjoy it as much as Second Chance, but it was ok, although I did have one of those moments half way through where I suddenly realised exactly what was going to happen, and there were no surprises after that. Again, it was pretty solid and fairly enjoyable. Nothing really amazing about it, but not a waste of time.

Wedding Tiers by Trisha Ashley
I really liked this book. It’s about Josie, living in a small country village with her childhood sweetheart, Ben, and living self-sufficiently in a house left to her by her Gran. It’s a pretty typical book of its’ genre, but the characters were likeable (and hateable when you needed them to be!) and there was loads of self-sufficiency (which is my current kick, as some of you will know!), recipe related stuff, and talk of cakes as Josie makes wedding cakes. She also starts up a wedding business with her friend, and we all know I love a bit of ‘creative female entrepreneurs doing it for themselves’ in a book. Silly, happy, fun with hens.

So there we go. I think I’m up to date now, and feel good because there’s finally some book related content on the blog! I really do miss it, but I love that I’m still reading (and posting lists!) and I’ve never let the blog pressure me before, and I’m not about to start now!


  1. Well, I've already got 'The Fault in Our Stars' somewhere in a box waiting to be read, but you've managed to add two more to my wishlist, congratulations! Un Lun Dun sounds awesome - I've not read Neverwhere (though I heard part of the radio adaptation with Benedict Cumberbatch and James McAvoy) or any other China Mieville yet BUT I WANT TO. And you got me with the Trisha Ashley - I've not read her before either, but if it involves cake, weddings and self-sufficiency then I AM THERE. :D

  2. Oooh, good to know that you liked The Fault in Our Stars. I'm determined to read it soon but I keep being like 'but everyone sort of didn't like it that muuuuuch' but you did and that's awesome! :)

  3. I've been meaning to read China Mieville for a while now, but didn't know where to start. Un Lun Dun sounds perfect for a Mieville beginner :)

  4. I haven't read a Jane Green book for ages! My favourite was always Jemima J. The last one of hers I read was when two women swapped houses (I think one in the UK and one in the US). "It was pretty much a Jane Green book" made me smile as I can already kind of imagine how it goes! :)

  5. See now, sometimes I kind of like mini-mini reviews - straight to the point and I learned a bit about the books and how you felt about them and it's enough to help me decide if it's a book for me. Good luck with the connectivity problems!