Monday, 6 September 2010

Book review!

I know this is late, and I know there was no Friday post. I'm sorry. I haven't been sleeping well* and it's making focusing on the computer screen difficult. I have managed to finish 1 book though so here is that review:

Pretty Bad Things (get over it, nobody dies) by C. J. Skuse

This was an interesting book, and not always for good reasons. The idea is a good one; 16-year old twins Paisley and Beau set off to Las Vegas to find the father they haven't seen since they were 6, the day their mother died. In their attempt to find him they start a crime-spree in the hope of getting on the news so their dad will see and know they are looking for him. Throw in an evil, money grabbing grandmother and you have the premise of a pretty interesting story. Unfortunately, I found the execution didn't seem to do it justice.
The book is told from two points of view Paisley's and Beau's, alternating with each chapter. At the start it's difficult to get your head around because the characters are soo different from each other. Paisley is wild and outspoken while Beau is timid and introverted. As this book has an obvious character development theme, the roles of Paisley and Beau change over the course, Paisley becomes a little less wild and Beau becomes a little more brave, which would be fine normally, but it leaves the middle of the book feeling a bit odd in my opinion. The voices become too same-y and it becomes hard to identify who's head you're really in. It doesn't really clear up at the end either as by then the characters are a bit too different from the start for me to feel that it works.
The plot in itself is really good and there are some hilarious and well written scenes throughout and the climax is kind of edge-of-the-seat gripping. I just found the execution lacked slightly. Maybe that's just me. Maybe you should go read the book and come back and argue about it with me?

*Understatement, I slept from 11pm-2am last night and then from 9am-1pm this morning/afternoon. That's getting to be almost normal. Which is getting to be annoying.


  1. Hmmm...does sound interesting, but not sure about the alternating chapters in each head. That would probably tire me out unless it was done so incredibly well and the story was so incredibly gripping throughout that it wouldn't bother me. I don't mind pieces of alternating views, but too much of it kind of annoys me. Thanks for your review, guess this one will go towards the bottom of my list (which is a very good thing considering there's about 50 books on it now).

  2. that's a real trick when doing alternating points of view - they have to sound different. And if the characters are evolving so much that they're sort of changing into the other then that would be even more confusing. The premise does sound really good though. Thanks for the review. :)