Thursday, October 31, 2013

Genesis by Bernard Beckett.

Title- Genesis.
Author- Bernard Beckett.
Publish date- 2005.
Publisher- Quercus.


What I thought:
This was such a strange book that between the time I finished it (around 2 months ago) and now, I'm still not quite sure what I want, or have to say about it.

Written in a singular way, the story follows Anax as she takes the exam to get into the Academy- her chosen subject is the life of Adam, and so she tells his story to the examiners as if they've never heard it.   I didn't personally enjoy this take, as if felt like the whole book was a massive info dump , though I was constantly sure that there would be more to this book then just that, or that it had to be leading somewhere more... I felt sure that at some point it would take a new direction, which would give more life to the story, but unfortunately that never happened. Because of the way the story is told, it also made it difficult to really be able to become a part of it, and every moment I felt as if I were starting to fall into the story, we (the reader) would be reminded that it was an exam. Two stories were being told, neither of which I ever felt entirely convinced by.

The ending to this story, though, may just be the winning factor for me. It was so incredibly unexpected, and I appreciate the fact that I was so stunned by it. It made the book memorable for me, though I wish something had happened earlier, because it came a little too late.

Rating: Poor/Hmm...
I didn't always like it, didn't ever outright enjoy it, but nor did I entirely dislike it. I'll remember it every now and then, I think, but I don't know if I'll ever decide whether it's for good or bad that it sticks with me.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

A Cautionary Tail by Erica Harrison.

Title- A Cautionary Tail.
Author- Erica Harrison.
Publish date- August 2013.
Publisher- Penguin Australia (Viking)


What I thought:
I became really interested in the film not too long ago (it was a kickstarter funded film, and the book is made from that, using stills from the film!) and amid the eager anticipation for it's release I found out that there was a picture book. I was instantly intrigued.
This is one of the first picture books I have read that has felt so incredibly versatile as to reach out to more than one or two age groups- this spoke to my youngest self, my ten year old self, my youth self, and my future selves.

It's the incredibly moving story of a little girl who gives up the thing that once gave her so much joy, but in the end only pain, and it is a story I was able to easily relate to, and suspect the same for many others.

It was both joyous and sad, feelings that were represented by the animated stills throughout- art that is not always the most nice, but is the most true.

Rating: Ooh, very good.
A very powerful book that I would recommend with little hesitation. My only real problem was that occasionally I didn't feel like the words fit or made sense- being verse it stuck out when it didn't work.

Thank you to Penguin Australia for this review copy!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday (8) Character Names.

Top ten tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish where the people of the blogverse do some spotlighting in groups of ten, ocassionally (*ahem* often *ahem*) pushing the rules to the limits. In the best ways.

This week is all about character names, so I'm sharing ten of my all time favourite character names. The list doesn't have images or words to explain why, as they usually do over here- I just request you take your time and say each name aloud.

1. Luna Lovegood.
2. Kami Glass.
3. Finnick Odair.
4. Augustus Waters.
5. Isola Wilde.
6. Mara Dyer.
7. Lyra Belacqua.
8. Sunny Baudelaire.
9. Effie Trinket.
10. Dustfinger.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Oddfellows Orphanage by Emily Winfield Martin.

Title- Oddfellows Orphanage.
Author- Emily Winfield Martin.
Publish date- 2012.
Publisher- Random House.


What I thought:
This is, really, an exquisite book. My sister had been a fan of the author's work (art, jewellery) for a long time, and when the book came out she chose to buy it; there it has since been, sitting on my niece's bookshelf- I could've read it months ago, but I just wasn't all that interested, and I am annoyed at myself for that.

The story features a diverse array of characters, the majority of whom are orphans living at Oddfellows Orphanage, a place of wonder that is packed of characters full to brimming with wonderous stories, clothing and personalities. They were all very intriguing individuals, and as such I definitely don't have a clear cut favourite, which is unusual for me.

Something I really liked about this book is that there isn't an antagonist, no threat to the school or particular evil the children have to face and vanquish- it's a happy tale with a sad background (they are orphans, after all), the plot taking us over the course of a few months as the protagonist (of sorts) comes to understand the day to day life at Oddfellows.

My only problem with this was something my sister also commented on: things aren't always explained all that throughly, or the author doesn't often go into a great depth. Each chapter is like a little story in itself, and they're not very long at all. It's very enjoyable reading, but I wished more than once for a tad more character history and plot development.

Rating: Excellent/Big Explosion, MIND BLOWN.
I really loved this. The characters are marvellous, the story unique and engaging, the illustration (all by the author) is exquisite, but it just could've been a little (lot) longer.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Plotting a Takeover: Character Buys 3.

A not so regular feature in which I pick a book and then pick out things I think the character/s themselves would own/use or just really like. All links go to etsy/the store's website. This week the featured book is...

Howls Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones.
Focusing on Calcifer, Sophie and Howl.

I can absolutely see Howl magicing this up for Sophie.

A ring of promise.

Perfect for Sophie, or Howl, to keep a little magic on hand at all times- ready to be cracked open in an instant.

Wouldn't it be excellent if someone in the castle chose to get a little cat as a kind of lucky charm? Perhaps only a toy one, but...

Calcifer, I anticipate, would have made gifts for each of his friends at some point, all with a little bit of him on or in them.

Obviously they would have a castle in Wales in addition to the cottage. 

When in Wales, a mask must be worn for Halloween. This would be Perfect!

Bought by Sophie for Howl. Howl would, of course, put it outside their room.