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eabech

eabech

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A Game of Thrones
George R.R. Martin
Brideshead Revisited
Evelyn Waugh
The Storycatcher
Ann Hite
Seven for a Secret
Lyndsay Faye
The Ocean At The End Of The Lane
Neil Gaiman
Fragile Things: short fictions and wonders
Neil Gaiman
Bellman and Black
Diane Setterfield
Picture Me - Lori Weber I have so much to say about Picture Me, but I can barely be bothered. It is simply not worth it.

It was a disappointment. A huge disappointment. The idea behind it is great: Krista, the overweight girl who is bullied into a fanatic state of refusing to eat and (literally) overdosing on diet pills, Tessa, the sweet, kind best friend who tries to help (and the odd sub-plot of her family) and the main cause of Krista's state, Chelsea. It could have been so well. But the narrative, which switches between the three girls, doesn't work. It overlaps, often simply retelling what was told in one of the other girls' POW just before. I did not find the characters particularly believable, either, and only Tessa seemed genuine and even somewhat believable – and even then it was difficult to think of her as a human being rather than a character in a book. And don't even get me started on Chelsea.

I finished reading it because I wanted to know how it ended, so the upholding of some suspense is a plus. But that ending? I'm all in for open-for-interpretation-endings, but it didn't feel like the story had finished being told when there was nothing left.
Great idea. Poorly executed.
What a Wonderful World: One Man's Attempt to Explain the Big Stuff - Marcus Chown Review withheld until closer to publication date.
The Summer We All Ran Away - Cassandra Parkin You know that feeling when you're just drawn to something, when you feel like you cannot continue existing without this object? Yeah. That was me when I saw the cover of The Summer We All Ran Away. I'm shallow, and I judge books by their covers. And this one.. oh my. I went all grabby-hands on it.

The point is, however, that unlike most other times when this has happened to me, the content wrapped in this cover turned out to match it in quality. We've got a talented author on our hands here. We really do.

The story itself is simple enough, but it gets slightly complex, and eventually it will require quite a lot of focus (or, you know, actual note-taking) to keep up; it jumps between past and present, and various characters and their stories are intricately woven into each other. Each character is well-developed and somehow, they're entirely over the top in the best sense of the word. Especially Priss, who is annoying and sweet and all-round teenager-y at all times, and yet it is difficult not to adore her.

We are, naturally, given the nature of the story, told about the backgrounds of the characters, and this is where we find the only downside I can point out: Parts of that of Priss is told in some MSN-chat-slang. Had I been older, I would have despaired and given up on it. It is too bad, really, because a lot of important details that are almost required to understand in order to make sense of the parts written in regular English are hidden in these MSN-conversations, and it is really too bad if you miss out on anything because of this.

Overall, The Summer We All Ran Away is delightful, intriguing, fascinating and absolutely wonderful, and I cannot express how much I encourage everybody to read it. If not for anything else, then for the wonderful characters.
The Troop - Nick Cutter Worms. Wormsssssss.
Yeah. Let's talk about worms. Because there will be worms. And a lot of them. And by a lot, I mean a lot. Not just some. A lot. If you don't like worms, you won't like The Troop. If you don't like biologically refined (I feel that's inappropriate to call them, but you know) worms, I suggest you never clap eyes on this book. If you don't like the word "worm", don't bother reading this review. I just so happen to like it, and I intend to use it. A lot. Worms.

Now, back to the worms. Imagine that you're on a small island somewhere off the coast, five adolescent boys and a single grown-up, and /bam/, out of nowhere, worms. Absolutely batshit crazy worms that want your soul. And your body. Yeah. Consider that for a bit.

Next, consider what you would do when it suddenly hit you that hey, maybe I won't get off this island. Maybe I'll never return to my normal life. Because these batshit worms say so.

That's it, that's the book. Admittedly, the gripping narrative and the interesting characters (though some more well-developed and rounded than others, but that's that) was what kept me reading at times, because these damn worms, man. They're creepy. Either way, a four-star read. Written with wriggly worms. Flying through the air.
Inferno - Dan Brown Did I expect too much from this? Possibly.
Not that I know what I was expecting, but 200 pages in it feels like a rewrite of The Da Vinci Code. Langdon is still not particularly interesting and his side-kick is a little bit too skilled in a little too many fields of study. I don't get the hype.
Teller of Tales - Ray Dacolias I hate giving this such a low rating, not only because I received it through first-reads, but also because I love short stories. Unfortunately, I found that out of the ten short stories comprising this collection, I had to skip several after reading a couple of pages. Whereas some of these tales are deeply imaginative, they were often far too repetitive and descriptive to my liking, and generally lacked the developed characters that one, arguably, can demand, even from a short story.
City of Bones  - Cassandra Clare I did not finish reading this. I simply could not make myself do it.

The plot is great. It could, no doubt, have been an amazing book. But when I reached page 100 and the characters were still two-dimensional and the writing still made me cringe, I took it as a sign to stop. Thus, I did.
The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald Well.. it was certainly interesting.
I can see why The Great Gatsby has survived time and earned its label as a classic, certainly I can. And it is an enjoyable read, too, albeit lengthy and drawn-out at times. I found the last 30 pages to be either confusing or too brief at all times - whether that was me losing interest or just the way things are, I do not know. Fact is that it robbed the of the star that would've been the fifth, because it is a damn good piece up until the very ending. Which is strange, because that is when it appears to get be the most exciting.
The Gods of Gotham (Timothy Wilde Mysteries #1) - Lyndsay Faye This is quite likely to be the most enjoyable read I have had in quite some time. A brilliantly thought of plot with the perfect amount of factual happenings and completely fictional and a bunch of well-rounded characters that all went through consistent development throughout the book secures this one a sparkling 5 stars. Loved it.
Dust and Shadow: An Account of the Ripper Killings by Dr. John H. Watson - Lyndsay Faye I wish I had words for how much I enjoyed this book. Unfortunately, I don't. Instead, I'll just say that it sticks to canon, sticks as much to facts as a fictional piece of writing can and the language is mesmerising. If that doesn't convince you to read Dust and Shadows, just take my word when I say you'll enjoy every moment of it and get on with it.
The Fault in Our Stars - John Green I was taken by surprise when this turned out to be one of the most amazing, brilliantly thought of and absolutely heartbreaking stories about love and loss I have ever come across. I thought it was just another sappy love-story, but it was so much more. I have come to the conclusion that everybody should read this; it is that wonderful.

Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

- Robert Frost
Looking for Alaska - John Green I had honestly never thought I was going to enjoy this at all. Everything I have ever heard about it made me think that it was a girly-girl-book, the kind of romantic teenage sob-story I thought I would despise. It kind of was, but not at all in the way I thought it would be. Nowhere near what I thought it would be. Instead, it is maddeningly amazing.
Read it. Just.. read it.
The Cutting Season - Attica Locke This was interesting. It was actually quite a thrill. On more than one occasion, I had to stop reading because my heart was thumping so loudly I could hear it in my ears.
That being said, those moments were few and far between. Tales of the main character's life, general life at Belle Vie and a some historical information sprinkled with a good, old-fashion murder mystery, that's what this book it. And I loved every single moment of it.
However, if you're looking for a book that will keep you on your toes from page one, this is not your book.
Fixing Shadows - Susan Barrett An excellent plot and great development throughout the book combined with intriguing characters was what kept me reading this book, because believe me, this is not an easy read. If you have a flighty mind and trouble concentrating, this is not your thing, unless you really want to read it. However, if you decide to dive into it, it's an exciting read that keeps you wanting to know what is going to happen next. Read it. Just do it.
Fifty Shades of Grey - E.L. James I managed to get halfway through this book before I gave up. The only good thing about it was, to be quite honest, the fact that it was so bizarre I couldn't help but laugh at it half the time. I mean, "inner goddess"? Really?
The book could have been great - the plot could have been worked with - and written well enough - to actually justify it being a best-seller. But it's barely worth the two stars I have given it, and those are only because it made me laugh. A lot.