Friday, 10 August 2012

A Month of Reading

A slightly better month of reading this time, helped along by two absolute page turners...

1. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

A historical fiction novel about the Tudors which focuses on the life of Thomas Cromwell?  Highly recommended?  Yes please!  This book had everything going for it, except, I found it a bit meh.  The writing style jarred, the timescale jumped around without adding to the story and Mantel just doesn't get on with the story. I made it through a third of this book and seriously considered giving up, I got to half way and just skipped to the end because I couldn't stand wading my way through this treacle of a story any longer.  It felt like Mantel wrote this for other writers not for the reader.  I'm disappointed I didn't like it especially when two people whose reading choices I completely trust thought it was amazing.

2. Wonder by R.J. Palacio

In contrast I thoroughly enjoyed Wonder.  I started reading it one Saturday evening and had to stay up until three in the morning because I just had to finish it.  A story about a boy with a significant facial disfigurement, home schooled his whole life he faces the prospect of starting middle school and dealing with the hurdles and triumphs of being different.  Written from a number of different perspectives you get a completely whole view of family life, the frustrations of being different, of being the one who has to sit on the sideline and young adults learning to make their own minds up and not follow the crowd.  I would really recommend this book, it's so well written.  Whilst I admit parts of this book are a touch syrupy there is also a brutal honesty that shines through, I just loved it.

3. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

About two and a half years ago I read The Hunger Games and really enjoyed it.  It was really well written but the subject matter was just so bleak at times, it was this bleakness that stopped me reading the following books in the trilogy.  However during the lovely weather we had at the end of July my friend Sue and I were sat lounging in the sun one lunch time discussing books and Catching Fire was one she was reading at the time, her enthusiasm for it was immense and she offered to lend me the two remaining books of the trilogy.  How could I possibly say no?  Like The Hunger Games this isn't a lovely Disney representation of life, it's violent and grey and tense, but equally the lead female character is a fighter and a rebel, you back her the whole way despite her faults.  I'm about half way through the final book Mockingjay and can't get to the end of the story quickly enough it's an absolute page turner.

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