Friday, 30 August 2013

The House on Willow Street by Cathy Kelly

This was an enjoyable and easy read which allowed me to imagine some lovely characters in a beautiful setting. Out of the four main characters, I loved three of them. Suki was the only main female I didn't like because her story was so set apart and unrelated to any of the others. I felt if she was just cut out of the story, it would have made little difference and she had no grip on me at all. Danae's story was a really touching one, with the secret behind her isolation and elusiveness being discovered by her niece who helped her overcome her problems. The main love interest for Tess, Cashel, was lacking something, however. His name, for a start, was strange and he seemed a little flat. And the reasons behind the so-called betrayal and fall out between him and Tess was a bit flimsy. I was expecting something much more dramatic. Their story was on the whole a little bit boring and they seemed to get back together very quickly with not much build up. Overall, though, I loved the setting, with the antique shop and the beautiful Avalon House. I give this book 7/10.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling

I was fascinated to read this as I have heard mixed reviews about it, but I quite enjoyed it. I think the main problem that is people compare it to Harry Potter, but as a stand alone and adult novel I thought it was an enjoyable read. It did take me quite a while to get into the flow of reading it because there were so many characters introduced at the start so I was getting confused who was who and didn't feel I'd been given enough chance to make a decision about their characters. But once I got into the story and the characters, I read the rest of the story quite quickly. There was so much going on and various story lines that were really interesting to read. The main thing that irritated me throughout the book was Rowling's use of brackets that would go on through various paragraphs. And I felt at times techniques such as this were showing an effort to come across as 'literary' and just felt unnatural. In addition, in trying to make an escape from her Harry Potter days, I feel she involved far too many descriptions of sexual acts and lots of swearing that was unnecessary. But overall, it was a good read so I give it 8/10.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul by Deborah Rodriguez

This was a really enjoyable read. It showed some interesting insights into a culture I wouldn't normally read about. The women from this culture featured in the story were really awe-inspiring and it was great to hear their stories from their own perspective. The main character, Sunny, was a really great main character and it was interesting to read about how she recognised her feelings for Jack over time. It was very much like some other 'chick-lit' that I read, so it followed a similar format which I find quite comforting to read, but was set in an interesting location with extra factors such as bombings and prejudice views against women. I really enjoyed reading it and give it 8/10.

Monday, 5 August 2013

Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee

I realise that I am probably supposed to like this book because it's a classic. But to be totally honest, for the most part, it was incredibly boring. I am not one for long, elaborate and pretentious descriptions, which is what the majority of this book is. I enjoyed some of the tales, and reading about some of the characters, such as Laurie's mother. But most of the time I just got bored. Laurie's narration was dry and I didn't like him as a person. It's such a shame, because I liked the idea of the book, just not the book itself! I give this book 1/10.