Monday, 12 July 2010

It seems 'death' is a common theme...

Having read 6 of the 8 books I recently borrowed from the library I am amazed at how much death features in books which look cheery on the outside.

From the last lot of reviews, Numbers had several deaths in it, Bad Faith was about a murder, Never Bite a Boy on the First Date was also about a murder (and had vampires but they're more undead) and my recent 3 haven't fared much better. My recent ones also made me cry a fair few times, though I'm female so it could have been hormones as opposed to really moving writing... lets blame it on the really good writing.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Lots of death in this one and a couple of points that made me cry dotted throughout it (Especially the bit with Roe and the flowers). I had picked this up because it's been much talked about and I was surprised my library even had a copy. and I was a little bit amused by the fact this copy has a strange cover that you can flip so it's either Peeta or Katniss on the front.
Inside the back cover of this copy Suzanne Collins explains that the idea for The Hunger Games came from channel flicking between a reality TV show and war coverage. apparently the two got mixed in her mind and became this reality show where kids have to fight each other for survival, the winner being the last one left alive. Pretty twisted mix of Big Brother and Lord of the Flies.
I think the dynamic between Peeta and Katniss is really interesting to read especially when you contrast it against the other relationships Katniss has. And the fact Peeta and Katniss both see their relationship from different angles makes it all the more compelling to read. Seriously, go read it.

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler
This made me cry so much at the start... but I'll admit it was probably hormones. It's about a girl (Anna) and her best friend (Frankie) and how they cope with the death of Frankie's older brother who happens to have been secretly dating Anna before he died. Okay, maybe it was the writing that made me cry. There a lot of interesting relationships playing out in this one, mainly between the girls but also between Anna and the ghost of Matt that she seems to carry around in her head.
I've read a couple of other reviews about this one and one thing that seems to rub people up the wrong way is the flippant way Anna's virginity is talk about as if it's some kind of burden. These are teenage girls, one of them is severely acting out, how can you expect sex not to come up in a rebellious way? Also if you do make it all the way to the end it all falls into better perspective and is a whole lot less flippant than it seems for most of the book. (And if you have read it and are wondering what I'm on about, compare Frankie's 'first time' with the feelings Anna has for hers). This is a book that really highlights the power relationships have over us. T'was a very good read even if it did make me cry a lot.

Nobody's Girl by Sarra Manning
I've just finished this one and to be honest I wasn't sure I was going to make it to the end. I started reading it last Tuesday but kept putting it down to read something else. It took me till this morning to get past page 100 (of a 360pg book). The problem I has was that the back of the book tells you that Bea goes to Spain and then quickly detours to Paris. She doesn't get to Paris until at least half way through the book but one she does it picks up a lot.
It took me about 4 days to read the first 100 pages and about 4 hours to read from there to the end. It does get a lot better once she gets out of Spain. Of course I then spent part of the end of the book wanting to strangle Bea for being a complete idiot but I think that's the point.
There is an interesting contrast between the relationship Bea's mother was in when she was 17 and the relationship Bea is in at 17. If you focus on Bea and Toph and that relationship then it is a decent book. However it's not something I would pick up to read again as I personally found it very slow going in a few places thought this could have been because I really didn't like the girls Bea hangs around with for the first 100 pages.

So there you go, 3 new book reviews. I may start making Monday book review day, though I can't promise 3 books every Monday.


  1. "This made me cry so much at the start... but I'll admit it was probably hormones." LOL. I felt emotional in that book too - so well written. Loved it :)

    Nice reviews :)

  2. Nice reviews. I'll have to pick up Twenty Boy Summer - after the ten thousand other books I have on my list. Keep up the reviews, they're fun!