A Handful of Quick Book Reviews

Hi everyone! Nice to see you all again, sorry it’s been a little bit since my last post, I’m getting settled into a new job and things are kinda crazy. Here’s a bunch of quick reviews of books I’ve been into lately. Have a look if it suits your fancy.

Beware! There are some spoilers hidden in here as well…just so you know.

Rush Home Road, Lori Lansens

This is exactly the sort of book I would never have picked up and read on my own accord. This is a good example of how enjoyable it can be to step out of your comfort zone, particularly with reading. It was selected for my book club, which explains how it ended up in my life, and I finished the five hundred and something pages in less than three days. I don’t know what it is about books that jump back and forth between two time periods that make it impossible to put down, but closing this book for the night took serious will power. Sarah’s Key was much the same. It wasn’t a pretty story and at times it made me very sad. Based in the lower class area of rural Southern Ontario, close to the city where I currently live, it painted a very different picture of the area than I have become familiar with. Even though it was fiction,  it was quite spooky reading about places I know well, visit and pass through frequently. I also love how it wraps itself up into a beautiful bow at the end. I felt satisfied with the way it ended, yet still wished for more, which I think is the mark of a good story. And yes…I cried, which made my face hurt while I was trying to read the last few pages. Kudos to ‘the Mumsie’ for her great book choice!  Four Stars

 

 

Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck

After realizing I had never been force fed any Steinbeck in High School, I picked this one up to get a bit of a taste. It was a very quick and easy read, yet it certainly had feeling.  The emotional conflict within the characters in the story was so powerful it nearly seeps out of the pages. Few feelings are spoken in the dialogue, but you by all means know that they are there in the actions taken by several individuals. No tears materialized in myself while reading this book, but I think because if it’s length I was unable to really connect or relate to either of the main characters. But that’s my bad. It’s been said that this was a story about special needs, before special needs was a pressing social issue, and I agree wholeheartedly with that.  Lennie and George are quite the pair, and their strong and solid relationship is a kind I don’t often come across outside of family in life or in fiction. It paints a vivid picture of life in America during the depression, and illustrates the hopes and dreams of the people living and fighting their way through it. Sacrifices for the good of the many is a strong theme it presents, as well as hard work, compliance and conformity in lesser notes.  A classic, and rightfully so. Three Stars

 

 

The Giver, Lois Lowry

Another book that I regret not picking up when I was young. It was suggested to me for an assignment by my teacher when I was in seventh grade and I turned it down to read what everyone else was reading, and I can’t help but feel the irony in that. After reading it now, I described it to someone as 1984, but for children. It’s about a seemingly utopian (or rather dystopian) isolated culture, with no fear, choices, pain, happiness or sunshine. My mind was absolutely blown when I learned it was colour Jonas was beginning to see when he started to ‘see-beyond’. The setting, and structure of the society was brilliantly laid out in the first half of the book, and I feel it could have been greatly expanded on, and that it ended far too soon. There are other books in the series, and with any luck they will expand on the already established foundation that The Giver had created. I just wished I knew more about what happened to all of the other characters after Jonas left. It left me thinking it was unfinished. I agree with the messages it presents to children, and an opportunity to begin to question their own world. What is right? People can lie? What choices will I have to make? And It very delicately addresses puberty or ‘The Stirrings’, but then abandons it without further reference, which I thought was odd. Overall, a book I could have used at 11. Three and a half Stars

 

I Heart London, Lindsey Kelk

This book was not exactly what I expected. I picked it up because of my obvious love of London, and not knowing it was the fifth book in the series (or something ridiculous like that) I was a little lost in the beginning. But it turns out it was readable as a stand alone book, I just didn’t get the references to all of the events that happened previously. It’s a girly book, about a wedding, and boyfriends, and ex boyfriends, and completely unrealistic in every way. Oh look, she’s a writer from London living in New York with a great job and too much money, dating..no…engaged to a musician from a relatively famous musical group, with more rich friends than she knows what to do with. Her problems in general are petty, they include rivalries at work with evil co-workers cousins, while trying to start a shallow magazine that might not fly (because it’s about beauty and fashion and does the world really need another overpriced photoshopped wonder to make women feel worse about themselves?), an ex-boyfriend that cheated on her once so she up and LEFT THE COUNTRY without even an explanation, and now a wedding that her unrealistic perfectly British parents and psycho best friend are planning in less than a week. I was sad there wasn’t more about actual London in this book, but what could I expect. There’s pink on the cover.  From Notting Hill With Love was much better and I would recommend that if you’re looking for something fluffy and London-ie and actually enjoyable. Two Stars

Miss Hailey Jane

And really…”Kissing Ron Howard” will be coming along soon, I swear!

 

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