logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: general-fiction
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-02-14 22:31
The Golden Mean and Alexandria: Griffin and Sabine
Alexandria: In Which the Extraordinary Correspondence of Griffin & Sabine Unfolds - Nick Bantock
The Golden Mean - Nick Bantock

I'm reviewing these two together because I read them totally out of order. leaving me with little idea of story quality.  I'd read Griffin and Sabine years ago and loved it - the artwork, the interactivity of it, and the way it ended mysteriously.  A couple of years ago I acquired these two books at a sale and put them away until I could get the missing three, and read them in order.

 

Except last night I was in the mood for books with pieces, so I grabbed them to read anyway.

 

Definitely not a series to read out of order.  The Golden Mean was ok - I figured out enough from having read the first book to follow along fine, but Alexandria has new characters that were somehow involved in everything and I was more than a little clueless, although I was left with the feeling that Bantock was reaching for plot by the end.

 

Regardless, the art is still stunning.  I love the postcards and whenever a 'real' letter appeared on the page, the thrill of opening it, extracting the letter and reading it, never got old.

 

I'm still going to search out the rest of the books; if I ever find them, I'll read the whole series again - in order - and see if the plot goes as off the rails as it looks to me now.

Like Reblog Comment
text 2018-02-06 19:43
Thought provoking story
My Name Is Venus Black: A Novel - Heather Lloyd

My Name Is Venus Black by Heather Lloyd is a thought provoking story of how a young girl commits a horrible crime and yet in so many ways is innocent.  The story is told from two points of view. First and foremost Venus and then secondary by Tessa. At the heart, the story is about family, love and forgiveness.

 

Venus Black is just thirteen when she is convicted of killing her stepfather. She escapes being tried as an adult – barely. She is sent to a juvenile correction facility to serve her six year sentence. Her brother Leo, a high functioning, autistic child, is kidnapped just days after the crime. He is never found. Once Venus serves her time and is released, she wants two things. First, to start over with a new identity. Second, to find her brother.

Unbeknownst to Venus, a young girl, Tessa, and her father have found and taken in Leo. They have raised him as their own. They have nurtured Leo and he has come to love them as much as they love him. You can imagine what happens when the two worlds collide.   

 

The author did a fabulous job with the character of Venus. There was a lot of depth to her and I empathized with her despite the terrible crime she committed. I also liked Tessa. She was an outstanding supporting character and I found her to be rather profound for her age. No doubt this is what the author intended. Another thing I liked about the story, you do not know exactly why Venus killed her stepfather until the end and the suspense was one of the things that made me want to keep turning the page, even after bedtime.  

 

The pace of the plot could not have been better. It never felt rushed at all. The only qualm I had was with the ending. It came together in this nice, neat, little package and that just does not happen in real life. On the flip side, I get that readers want a story that is all tidy in the end. Regardless, the story was well executed and I look forward to more from this author.

 

The story brings up a lot of difficult issues. For example, how does the justice system handle crimes committed by children? Where does the system fail in helping children like Venus? What does it mean to forgive someone or yourself?  These are just a few of the questions that come to mind. Because of this, My Name Is Venus Black would make an excellent book club pick.

 

I received an ARC, from the publisher, via Library Thing’s early reviewer program. Thank you!

 

For more of my reviews, and author interviews, see my book blog at www.thespineview.com.

Source: www.thespineview.com/genre/fiction/my-name-is-venus-black-by-heather-lloyd
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-02-02 03:07
Bella Tuscany
Bella Tuscany - Frances Mayes

Very much more of the same from Under the Tuscan Sun but with more travel and more poetry and more philosophical musings.  

 

I really just wanted to hear about the house and their village, so I found myself skimming whenever the chapters covered their travels.  I usually love the travel bits, but a combination of my mood and her tendency to write about their trips within Italy the way academic historians write about battles made it all feel too tedious.  But I loved hearing about the house, the restoration, re-building the gardens, and harvesting the olives.  That took up about half the book, so I went with a down the middle rating of three stars.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2018-01-31 00:53
Under the Tuscan Sun re-read
Under the Tuscan Sun - Frances Mayes

A neighbor gave me a copy of the follow up to this book, Bella Tuscany, and as I started reading it, I realised there was a lot of stuff I didn't remember from this book, and a lot of details I'd conflated with the movie.  So, a re-read was in order.

 

I still stand by the 3 stars I gave it the first time.  It's a beautiful book and I want to chuck it all and move to Tuscany more than ever, but the writing takes some getting used to.  It's often lyrical (sometimes to extremes) and often abrupt; in a lot of sentences, the pronoun is just meant to be assumed.  A lot of readers won't like the style.  I was often one of them, but still, I lost myself in a hot, Tuscan hillside all over again, and I'm looking forward to continuing the trip in Bella Tuscany.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-01-28 06:56
The Ludicrous Laws of Old London
The Ludicrous Laws of Old London - Nigel Cawthorne

Interesting, but not precisely what it says on the tin.  The title and summary on the back would give the impression that the book is a collection of crazy laws enacted throughout the ages that are still in effect.  There are a few of these sprinkled throughout, but most of the entries are really more a historic overview of London laws through history; laws that seem insane to us now, but made sense to citizens at the time (for good or bad).

 

As I said, it's still a very engaging and interesting read; I learned heaps about London (did not know, for example that there's a city of London and a City of London (the latter being the 1 square mile section within the old Roman walls).  But I admit when I saw "Ludicrous" in the title, I was expecting something far sillier, the UK version of silly laws I've heard about in America like:

 

In Gainsville Georgia, you are not allowed to eat fried chicken any other way than using your hands.

 

In Arizona, having more than two vibrators in your home is illegal. If you own more than two in your house, you can be subject to criminal possession.

 

In Iowa, it is illegal for a man with a mustache to kiss a woman in public.

 

In Florida it is illegal for a divorced or a widowed woman to skydive on a Sunday afternoon.  Also, if an elephant is left tied to a parking meter, the parking fee has to be paid just as it would for a vehicle.  

 

The closest this book comes to this version of ludicrous is a law that states you cannot have a pack of playing cards within one mile of any building storing explosives or ammunition.  Which, I admit, is a stumper.

 

All in all, a good read; very informative, well-written and entertaining.  Just not silly.

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?