Category Archives: Book Review

Loving Mr. Daniels – Brittainy C Cherry

Ever hear of BookBub? Neither had I until I saw an internet advert. Intrigued I followed the link and found something truly amazing. A website that sends you an email every day with some great book offers. BookBub scours the internet for books relating to your favourite genres (as chosen on their website), they then send you the list and you can follow the link to get it. I have selected that I only read off of Amazon kindle so I get to find out the latest free or cheap books. Loving Mr. Daniels came through a few days ago as there is currently an offer on for it. Try out the website and you might be surprised what you get.

Plot

Loving Mr. Daniels starts off with Daniel, the titular character (yes he is called Daniel Daniels), and his horrific story. He picks up his drug dealer and user brother only to then find he is wanted by a drug gang. This gang then shoot the boys’ mother at their family home. Cut to Ashlynn and our main protagonist. She is at the funeral of her twin sister, Gabby, who died of Leukaemia. Ashlynn’s mother can no longer handle a daughter and sends her to live with her estranged father. An important note here is that Ashlynn was ill as a child so was held back a year at school, meaning she is 19 starting her last year of American high school. Gabby also left her twin letters for every big stage of Ashlynn’s life.

On the train to her father’s house and new life, she meets a young man (Daniel) who invited her to see his band perform in a local bar. After getting to know each other they realise that they are both broken individuals but seem to be able to mend slightly with each other. They share a passionate kiss and arrange to meet up for a ‘proper’ date.

On Monday at high school, Ashlynn enters into her AP English class to find her teacher is non other than Daniel…

Opinion

I don’t feel that my plot section has done this book justice. It truly is one of the best chick flick/romance books I have ever read. It has the taboo of Teacher/Student romance with an unjust feeling as she is technically a year older than high school. It has the typical romance situation of two broken people but with two people who are broken because of a real life occurrence (a girl dying of Leukaemia and a drug killing is more plausible than two people who happen to find each other but were both sexually abused). It doesn’t pander to people who might not be that intellectual reading a romance book for the thrill. Intelligence and reading is seen as sexy and knowing Shakespeare is a turn on for both characters. Daniel and Ashlynn’s love is never seen as sleazy or wrong and their professional relationship is not the reason for their personal one.

Cherry has written a very smart book and it is not the actions of the characters that add the sexual tension but the words. Daniel’s quotes are amazing and are what every girl/woman wants to hear her man say; “I love you because I was born to do so”, “You’re beautiful… I don’t just mean your looks. I mean your smarts, your tears, your brokenness. I think that’s beautiful”. Imagine if your boyfriend said that too you!

twitter quoteI cried throughout the book. Each letter opened by Ashlynn from Gabby made me cry, the joyful events made me cry and the sad events made me cry. Unfortunately I then had to go to work…  A fantastic look with puffy and red eyes for bar work!

The interactions between all the characters are great and I think it is this that adds what has been lacking for me in books of this genre. Usually you have the two main characters and everyone else is a side note. Where as Cherry has actually taken then time to create a wealth of characters, all interesting and all vital to the plot. Daniels and Ashlynn actually have lives outside of each other and this is what adds depth to the story.

All in all a great read. One you should definitely pick up and a welcomed relief after the terror of the last book! My verdict 9/10. Give it a go!

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Filed under Book Review, Brittainy C Cherry, Chick Lit, Loving Mr. Daniels, Romance

The Forever Trilogy – Sandi Lynn

As usual with recent books that I have read, this trilogy was recommended by kindle for me. I have read 50 Shades of Grey and The Crossfire Series so I quite like romance novels that have some sort of story line. However, I couldn’t even get past the 1st book. This is highly unusual for me. Even the worst book on this blog I could finish. Time to review!

Plot
Blah blah, rip off of 50 Shades… Blah blah, badly written sex scene… blah blah, rip off of Crossfire Series, blah…

Opinion
As you might have guessed I really didn’t like this book! For the first time ever this review is about a book I did not finish. As I have reviewed over 50 books on here and also read many more on top of that, this is definitely unusual behaviour!

The writing was appalling. Every few lines I was pulled out of the ‘story’ in utter disbelief at how bad it was. How anyone read it and felt the need to continue for another 2 books is beyond me. I genuinely threw my kindle away from me in disgust at how bad it was.

The storyline is a complete and utter rip off. I know many stories can be linked together (Women’s Murder Club similar to Rizzoli and Isles, Inheritance Cycle is similar to The Lord of the Rings) but this just takes the biscuit! Combine the previously mentioned romance novels together, throw in some bad dialogue and you have yourself a Forever Trilogy.

I always want people to read the books and see if they agree with me but I doubt I could let my own worst enemy read this and not feel guilty so people please, take this review on board and DO NOT READ!!! For the first time ever my verdict is… 0/10Nothing in this book made it salvageable.

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Vampire Academy – Richelle Mead

Sorry (again) for the delay in a post! So much has happened it is untrue! Little bit of personal news. I am now a student again! A masters in publishing is in my near future and I am ecstatic that I am hopefully on my career path. So ye. That’s it for me :).

Back to what this blog is for… Reviewing. As you maybe able to tell, young adult and vampire books are my little book secret. So when I watched Vampire Academy and found it was based on a book I was very happy. The film was so-so. The storyline seemed ok but the acting was very poor. It made me want to check out the books anyway. I downloaded the kindle version and can easily say this series is far superior to the film!

Plot

Vampire Academy is split into 6 books. We start of meeting Lissa and Rose, a vampire and dhampir. Lissa isn’t like the vamps we see in other books. She can stand a little sun, is not evil and has magic. Usually vamps can influence the 4 elements; water, air, earth and fire. They all have aspects of each in their magic but tend to specialise when they get older in just one field. Sometimes a vampire doesn’t specialise but those are rare cases. Lissa is part of the Moroi bread of vampire. Another strand is a Strigoi and they are the vampires humans have in their horror books and films. These have red ringed eyes, intolerance to the sun, drink blood until they have killed the supplier and are wickedly strong. They also find Moroi blood especially delicious and that is where dhampirs come into the picture. Originally, they were a result of Moroi and humans mating. This union later ceased to exist but it was discovered dhampirs cannot reproduce with their own kind. They rely on the Moroi to keep their race alive, meaning it falls to them to protect their only chance of survival so became Guardians to the Moroi. With these skill sets, schools/academies are set up to teach Moroi how to to control their magic and dhampir to protect Moroi. Rose and Lissa are at such a school. Unusual for this world they also share a bond. Rose can hear Lissa’s thoughts and sometimes put herself into Lissa’s head to see, feel and hear everything she can.

We meet Rose and Lissa outside of the academy where they have been on the run for 2 years. Rose was informed by a semi-insane teacher to run and hide Lissa. Rose has spent her life protecting her best friend and follows this strange advice. However, she never expected Dimitri to be sent after them. Regarded as a god in guardian circles, Dimitri is a young dhampir who is given Lissa as his Moroi to protect, depending on if he can find her. Taken back to school, Rose finds she is severly behind in classes and realises that to really be able to protect Lissa she needs to get her training back on track and be vigilant over her friend to avoid the danger she had been forwarned of. Dimitri becomes her tutor to catch her up on the 2 years she missed in hand to hand combat. With Lissa’s mental health deteriorating, Rose and Dimitri’s growing attraction and a danger lurking in the school as well as the usual high school drama, Vampire Academy has it all.

Opinion

I haven’t really given the plot to the other 5 books of this series as I don’t want to spoil it for those who want to read the series but I will be reviewing the whole series.

One word for this series. Wow. Just wow. It is rare to find a world and characters that you miss when you finish the last book but, like Rowling, Mead had me hooked for 2704 pages. The world is totally believable, characters loveable and writing sublime. English grads may argue my last point but at no time did I have to re read paragraphs to understand it nor did the writing bring me out of the story once. Like all great books, you forget you are reading and just see the story.

Rose is a fantastic character and her romance with Dimitri is believable and heartbreaking. Her sarcastic wit is never forced or contrite and the bravery shown makes you swell with pride. Lissa is a complicated character and your feelings for her are too. Their relationships with each other and everyone else are expertly shown.

Downsides are a few and far between but some of my main gripes are; why didn’t Lissa notice her best friend was in love yet her worst enemy knew and used it against Rose? Did anyone ever tell Dimitri’s family what happened? Read could have stopped the constant book repeat. If she wanted to fill people in on the last books then maybe a chapter telling people what happened not mid action sequence! And most annoyingly, what happens after the last book finished? I want back onto this world. I want back into the lives of these characters.

Mead has created a series everyone can enjoy young and old alike. The twists are sometimes obvious, sometimes surprising and I never guessed the culprit in the last book. Characters barely mentioned in book 1 play important roles later and I love this.

All in all a fantastic book. The pros far out-way the cons. For this I give this series a 10/10 Read it and don’t judge Mead’s sublime story by the sub par acting of the film!

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Filed under Book Review, kindle, Richelle Mead, Young Adult

The Girl in the Box Series – Robert J Crane

I have decided after this week that I really like Indie authors. Any of you who follow this blog on twitter will know that I have been doing my usual tweeting and tweeting to the authors of the books I am currently reading. Now, when you do a mainstream author, chances of getting a reply or a re-tweet are very small. Tweet an Indie author and you shall see miracles! Both Lily Zante of A Perfect Match series and now Robert J Crane have tweeted back to this little blog and indeed re-tweeted certain posts. This is obviously beneficial for both parties involved, getting my blog out to new people and the same for them. Obviously being nice does tend to help in one’s review of a book. You might not say it is a good book but you can say the author is nice!

Back to the series in hand. Again, through Kindle, the first three books of this series was offered to me. After reading Caged I was slightly apprehensive of reading another free paranormal book, especially one that gave me three new books. Luckily I was hooked on these from the first chapter!

Plot

We meet Sienna, a girl who seems to have spent her whole life inside her house. Her mother has her rules, Rule #1 being no going outside, as well as no talking about outside, always wear a full set of clothes including gloves and to basically listen to her mother all the time. Two men break into her house with guns and surprisingly, Sienna is able to defend herself extremely well with a great sense of wit to boot. Escaping her house, she runs into another man and he helps her to escape. Reed turns out later to be a great friend (watch for the twist) but for the mean time he ends up being knocked out by a hulk of a man named Wolfe. This guy is out for Sienna (another one?!) and nearly captures her at the local mall. However, a few tranquillisers later and the two previous men intervening, Sienna manages to escape. The men take her unconscious body to an institute called the Directorate and here she learns about herself and that she is part of a species called metas. These are humans who have extra strength, speed, agility, intelligence (sometimes) and their own individual power. Sienna learns she is a Succubus, a person who can dream-walk and steal people’s souls/essence from them. This obviously kills them and causes great distress to Sienna in more ways than one.

Throughout the series we have questions raised, such as where her mother has gone too, can the Directorate be trusted, who is Reed and many more resulting in a hair raising, emotional and sometimes funny quest that we venture on with Sienna.

Opinion

I love this book series. The plot isn’t fully complete as I am currently on book #7 out of 10. I have read the previous 6 in about 2 days. This is how enthralling a storyline it is. I have always been a bit of a geek and these books play on this extremely well. Very large geek references are throughout, from the comic books (Iron Man and Thor) to Star Wars and more. I am sure there are some that go over even my head.

Sienna is a great character. Unlike in Caged where the leading lady was just annoying, Sienna has an Orissa feel about her (from the Contagium Series). Her tongue in cheek wit is great and I wish I had the ability to dish out some of her comebacks. She is so mature in some ways and then in a blink you are reminded she is only 18. For a man writing about a woman, Crane did an excellent job of getting an 18 year old girl insecurities down pat. Her feelings and emotions are some that I can remember from my later teenage years so well played Crane!

Like I said, I haven’t finished the series yet so I do not know what is going to happen and I am finding the directions the books are going in at the moment to be interesting. I hope we get a good ending and I’m trying not to rush them to find out as I am prone to do because I like them so much I don’t want them to end! For me they are as good as Emily Goodwin’s Contagium Series (another Indie author and the next one isn’t out until September this year!!!) and as I loved them this is high praise indeed!

My verdict is 9/10. The same mark as I gave Goodwin’s and an excellent read. I just hope the remaining books stick to the same level of entertainment! Give them a go, especially as the first three are currently free.

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Filed under Book Review, Fantasy, Robert J Crane, The Girl in the Box

The Proposal – Lily Zante

As with most of my books recently, this was recommended by kindle and was a free download. I read the blurb and it seemed like a ‘me’ read. This was a bit like Wedding Date and What Happens in Vegas. Both excellent chick flick films and I know people use influences from other sources (Inheritance Cycle a prime example) so nothing to unusual about it. I shall add the 3rd in this series to the mix. It is the sequel to this and the reason I shall add into this review is the fact that it could all be one book. I think it should be one book, it reads well as one book.

Plot

The Proposal starts off at the bachelorette party of Nadine’s sister. Nadine hires male strippers to come to her home to ‘perform’ for her sister and friends. Nadine is a work freak and whilst she should be enjoying the show, she is instead working from home. One of the male strippers,Ethan, catches her eye and whilst watching him, she finds her body reacting to him in a way she hasn’t for a man in a long time.

Cut to later in the story and we see that she has been invited to a work’s weekend away and it is strongly advised she brings her ‘other half’ with her. Not wanting to miss out on an opportunity to do well at work, she hires Ethan to be her boyfriend for the weekend. People love him, especially her boss and owner of the company. During the weekend, Nadine and Ethan realise they have feelings for one another and decide to make it a case of seeing each other outside on this arrangement. Needless to say, the obvious happens with fallouts and make ups on the way.

Following this book, the 3rd in the series, Heart Sync  continues the story and we see how workaholic Nadine and growing art sculpture Ethan continue their romance. We see the strain of his previous line of work on their relationship and how Nadine needs to learn how to think as a couple. Job prospects can no longer be taken without any thought for what might happen for her relationship. Again, a predictable happy ending occurs after some turbulence and we see a happy and strong couple at the end.

Opinion

This is a very solid chick lit book(s). Nadine and Ethan are both likeable characters and Zante has managed to create a very palpable chemistry between them. Yes the storyline is predictable but I am yet to run across a chick-lit or romance book that isn’t. After all, if they weren’t predictable, the happy ending everyone reads them for wouldn’t exist.

What did annoy me was how little Zante included the characters best friends in the books. Nadine’s was cast aside easily and only brought in twice selfishly by Nadine. I understand that Zante was trying to show that Nadine was very wrapped up in work and then Ethan too but she didn’t even tell her she was going to Europe for a whole year until a month before she was due to go???? Really?! What girl do you know doesn’t tell her best friend this?

Overall the two books combined are pretty decent and I always say that if the 1st one can make me read a 2nd, it must have been ok. My verdict a very solid and reliable 6.75/10. If you like chick lit books, this is one you should definitely put on your ‘to read’ list.

 

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Bonkers: My Life in Laughs – Jennifer Saunders

I have always loved Jennifer Saunders. I blame my mother for this. She introduced me to Absolutely Fabulous, Vicar of Dibley, French and Saunders and on my own I discovered Jam and Jerusalem. Saunders’ guest spot on Friends has to be one of my favourites. She basically plays Eddie from AbFab. The joint effort of French and Saunders is sublime and their solo work is as good. I have already read Dear Fatty by Dawn French (Fatty being Saunders’ nickname) and loved it. So when Kindle biography showed me that Saunders had a biography I had to read it. I don’t like biographies as a rule. I have to really like the person they are about and even then that isn’t fool proof. My favourite comedian is Peter Kay and his biography was a very dull read. Michael McIntyre’s however was excellent! As was Dawn French’s. So with this all in mind it was with slight apprehension that I started this book.

Plot

I am not entirely sure how to do a plot section for a biography. This book is about Saunders’ life. There we go. One plot!

Opinion

I am pleased to say I was not disappointed by this book. With Saunders being a comic writer this book had a lot to live up to. It wasn’t as good as it could have been but not as disappointing as Peter Kays. My main gripe was the timeline or lack of timeline. Saunders would be writing about 1985 then all of a sudden it was 1993 then back to the original story she was telling and back again. I was getting into one story then lost track of it by the time it was eventually finished.

Her book also seems to be better read alongside Dear Fatty. I felt that a lot of interesting things from her start up with French should have been put in. It would be nice to have seen the same stories but from a different point of view. At one point Saunders even says for more into this period of her life check out her other half’s book. This just seemed lazy to me.

I never knew she had cancer until I read this book. Maybe because I was a student when she had it so didn’t pay attention to newspapers or reports I do not know but thought her frankness about it was very refreshing. Yes she had cancer, no she didn’t want a sob story and yes it wasn’t as bad as it could have been and she is now ‘cured’. The people who respond to her phrasing of her remission in a negative way shouldn’t. This is her experience of cancer, her views on her remission so how people can belittle her on this I do not know. Even those with Cancer can’t really comment as again, it is HER EXPERIENCE! Rant over!

Overall, a good read. I learnt things about her I didn’t know before and followed a legends life. My verdict is 7/10. If you like Jennifer Saunders a highly recommended read!

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Caged – Amber Lynn Natusch

Have you ever read a book where you had forgotten the blurb? It is a very confusing/interesting experience. On KindleCaged was recommended to me so I checked it out and obviously liked what I saw and then downloaded it. However, I didn’t read it straight away. I left it for a few months. I tend to do that. I buy books in bulk and then it means I have a few to get through. However, I totally forgot what the blurb said about this book. I figured it was probably a crime book as that is what I tend to read and as I had chosen to download it, it must have seemed ok so I began to read it with no clue of its premises. I can tell you now that this is not a crime book!

Plot

We meet out leading lady, Ruby, under some dire straits. She seems to be able to see after a long time of not being able to but is attacked by a gang of men. We see she is saved by an ‘angel’. We have no idea who this man is but we see Ruby again a year later. She is now running her own shop selling jewellery and appears to be quite successful in this venture. However, she is completely cut off from the world. Perhaps due to the fact she was born blind and is now a medical marvel as she has regained full use of her eyes, she feels slightly in awe of human interaction. Fuelled by her desire to be social, Ruby sets forth to a club. Here she is once again caught in the terror of a man and is rescued by Sean who she recognises as the ‘angel’ who rescued her before. Shocked by this turn of events, Ruby runs from Sean.

Later, Sean finds Ruby and they embark into a rough friendship. However, on a night out, Ruby is inexplicably drawn to Eric. A man Sean seems to know and loathe. Ruby goes out with Eric and lands herself into a whole heap of trouble. She is exchanged by Eric for some goods into the hands of a (SPOILER ALERT) pack of werewolves who want to ‘mate’ with her. Here she meets Cooper who helps her escape from the pack and back into Sean’s world.

Opinion

I’d recommend reading a book when you have no idea what is supposed to happen. It makes for an interesting ride! However, I thought this book was mediocre.

I have read quite a few Werewolves, Vampire, Magical books as seen through my reviews so you can see that I do like this genre. Natusch just seems to want to prolong your knowledge of this fact. You don’t discover that Ruby is a werewolf until about 60% of the way through. You don’t find out why she was born blind and now isn’t. Nor why Sean is following her around, even before he knows what kind of ‘special’ werewolf she is. Why does she have such attraction to Eric? This is a first in a series so maybe these will be explained later but I don’t really have an interest in reading them after this one.

Ruby as the main character is awful. She is the most stupid, naive little girl I have ever met and she is meant to be 28… She should have more sense than she does. Especially with the level of intelligence she shows to have through her Uni degree and excellent wit. Perhaps Natusch is trying to go with the anti-heroine type character like Orissa from the Contagium Series but it is never fully successful as Ruby is just annoying.

Natusch also seems to brush over anything sexual. Don’t get me wrong. I have no problem with there being no sex or nothing overtly sexual happening in books. The Host is a love story yet doesn’t really broach the subject of sex. This book has strong sexual themes running through it but seems to be embarrassed to show them and this creates confusion. Is Ruby raped? Is she gang raped? Is she just ‘pawed’ at? As this is quite a pivotal point in the storyline it needs to be explained fully. Natusch either needs to tell us what happened or just not put it in. Either is fine, what she does do isn’t it.

Overall, a mediocre read. I finished it but aspects of the plot need to be explained better so a 5/10 for me I’m afraid. Very average.

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Filed under Book Review, Fantasy, kindle, Urban fantasy

Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

I mentioned in my Jane Eyre review that my first foray into classic literature was with Pride and Prejudice. Today I have decided to review this book.

Plot

We meet the Bennet family. A family with money but on the verge of having to work for a living. They have an excellent house and 5 daughters as well as a silly mother and steadfast father. Elizabeth Bennet is our heroine and seems to be the most put together of the sisters and is their father’s favourite. The town becomes the new stately home of Mr. Bingley who is known to make £5000 a year. He arrives with his sisters, brother in law and best friend, Mr. Darcy. Bingley takes a liking to Elizabeth’s older sister, Jane and begins to court her. Everyone believes that they are to be wed but Mr. Darcy is found to have told Bingley not to marry below his station.

Mr. Collins arrives to the Bennet household and he proposes to Elizabeth who turns him down (hilariously). Mrs. Bennet is in an outrage over this, wanting to get her daughters married off as quickly as possible, whilst making good connections. Elizabeth’s best friend marries Mr. Collins due to her panic of getting too old to find a husband.

Mr. Whickham arrives with the cavalry and woos Elizabeth. However, it is with her youngest sister that he runs off with and marries. This is not before he informs Elizabeth of how horrible and pompous Mr. Darcy is.

Surprisingly, Mr. Darcy proposes to Elizabeth. However, his proposal is truley awful, claiming her to be below his status and that she should feel lucky he is even allowing himself to be degraded by acknowledging her and her family. Obviously Elizabeth says no.

Elizabeth goes to visit the new Mrs. Collins and due to the position of Mr. Collins as pastor for the venerable Lady Catherine de Bourgh, learns more about Mr. Darcy and finds his previous nature towards her and her family to be of an anomaly.

Whilst on holiday with her aunt and uncle, Elizabeth ends up visiting Mr. Darcy’s grand estate and ends up seeing him there. Here she finds that he is not quite so prideful and much more open and joyous to be around. Perhaps her own pride got in the way of their union?

Lady Catherine de Bourgh hears about a possible union between Mr. Darcy (her nephew) and Elizabeth and storms over to the Bennet’s house to find out whether her nephew had made a proposition to Elizabeth. Elizabeth says no but if he were to make one in the future she would not reject it.

Mr. Bingley returns and asks for Jane’s hand and then Mr. Darcy returns with him and once again asks for Elizabeth’s. Obviously, they both say yes and the pride and prejudices that were keeping them apart have now been vanquished.

Opinion

I love this book. The BBC adaptation is also excellent. Elizabeth Bennet is a truly delightful character. Her wit, intelligence and sarcastic mouth transcend the 201 years from first publication to now. The family interactions are often done with great amusement and Elizabeth’s rejection of two of her marriage proposals are excellently executed. The one to Mr. Collins is hilarious. Her attitude is very modern as she waits until the man she loves asks her, never agreeing to marriage for status or money (obviously she gets both with her marriage but it takes 2 attempts from Mr. Darcy before she says yes). The marriage between Mr. Collins and Charlotte is shown to be the ‘proper’ way for an unmarried twenty-something to act as even though Charlotte does not love Mr. Collins, she feels she needs to get married soon as she is ‘past’ the desirable age.

Mr. Bennet is also quite a modern man. He only wants what is best for his daughters (particularly Jane and Elizabeth) and finds his wife’s constant moaning and badgering to be rather tiresome. However, he does what he can to make his daughter’s union to a ‘higher class’ by calling to see the new resident of Mr. Bingley. He is every girl’s dream father and before accepting Mr. Darcy’s request of marriage to Elizabeth he checks with her first to see if she is willing.

Obviously being called Pride and Prejudice, both these themes run throughout the books and every character (bar Jane) has these flaws. Even Elizabeth lets hers get the better of her and we see how far she has to go to allow them to be beaten to accept Mr. Darcy’s marriage proposal. However, how he expected any girl to agree to his first offer is beyond me. Tip for you guys: never say that the girl is below you in status and that her family are idiotic whilst stopping her sister from marrying your best friend for the same reasons!

All in all one of my favourite books. My verdict 9.5/10. Again, the same as with Jane Eyre maybe if I had been reviewing in the 19th century, this would have been a 10 but obviously the writing is convoluted and difficult to get into meaning you have to be in the right frame of mind to read this or any classic novel.

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Filed under Book Review, Classic, Jane Austen

A Hollywood Ending – Robyn Sisman

I first found Robyn Sisman when I was in my early teens through Just Friends. I loved that book. It is one of my all time favourites to read. Now why am I reviewing one that isn’t that book? Well simply, I have just recently finished A Hollywood Ending compared to Just Friends. It seems to follow a similar pattern to that of her previous books so Sisman is clearly working under the ethos that if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. For some, this philosophy doesn’t work as the same storyline repeated but with different characters can make an author boring. Sisman falls into this category I am afraid.

Plot

This book is about a woman named Paige Carson. A movie star with an Oscar under her belt. However, her career is on the decline and after being embarrassed by her current co-star, she decided a change in needed. Off to England she goes to perform in a Shakespearean play. However, obstacles appear before her in the shapes of no car service, an obnoxious landlord named Ed, can she even act and no one seems to care who she is.

Opinion

I don’t think I need to continue with the plot. Can you see where this book is going? We have an uptight American who comes to England and annoys the hell out of an English guy whilst panicking that maybe she really can’t act. So what happens? She falls in love with the English guy (obviously a twist involved) and succeeds at the play.

Don’t get me wrong. I love chick lits. From the paragraph above you might surmise that I don’t. Cecelia Ahern is one of my favourite authors and my previous read of Sisman’s was excellent. It’s just this followed the same storyline as her previous book. An English person and an American person, both headstrong, both on failing careers or with a boss who doesn’t appreciate them. Falling in love, arguing, missed a sign from each other etc etc. its just the same. <—Not a happy chappy.

All in all, not a great read. If you want a good Robyn Sisman book, read Just Friends not this. My verdict 5/10. 

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Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë

My first experience with classic literature was brought to me via High School exams. My English Literature class required me to examine Mr. Collins’ proposal to Elizabeth Bennet. Our fabulous English teacher decided that instead of reading the book, which she knew would be tiresome to most in my class (and up to this point even me) decided that watching Pride and Prejudice in class would be much more productive. The BBC’s 1990’s version is excellent and a young Colin Firth is a very desirable Mr. Darcy. All told, this was an excellent way to bring a 19th century novel into the minds of 15 year olds. Due to this, I ended up reading the whole of Pride and Prejudice through my own volition and loved it. It is this that has brought Jane Eyre to my attention and allowed me to be open enough to give the very convoluted writing a go.

Plot

We enter into the life of Jane Eyre. An orphan who has been left with her irksome Aunt and horrible cousins. Her life is simply awful and the promise of boarding school is welcomed with open arms, even after the disgrace she is put through via the pastor who financially runs the school. Her life takes a turn for the better and after school she is kept on as a teacher. After two years of employment and a total of 8 years at the school, Jane seeks employment elsewhere and is given the opportunity to be a governess for a young girl in Thornfield Hall. No geographical names are given within this story but we assume this place to be around Yorkshire.

Here Jane enters into the servitude of Mr. Edward Rochester and tutors his ward, Adèle. Luckily, Jane learnt French from a Frenchwoman so is able to keep up with the excitable little French girl. Through the coming months, we see nothing of the master of the house and Jane begins to see how gloomy the old mansion is. Add to this the odd sounds and strange happenings that occur whenever a mysterious maid is around (Grace Poole) and we have the beginnings of a ghostly past.

The following weeks bring Mr. Rochester back to his estate and we see the start of a friendship between master and governess. He stays longer than normal in Thornfield Hall and eventually entertains some guests. Through some deception on Mr. Rochester’s behalf, he surmises Jane’s growing affection for him and later proposes to her which she says yes.

During their wedding we learn that Rochester is already married, to a crazy lady who keeps escaping her nurse/maid, Grace Poole and attempting to either kill or maim the residents of Thornfield Hall. Jane leaves, heartbroken and eventually falls on her feet as the headmistresses of a new school. After coming into some money, finding some cousins and a new proposal, Jane returns to Thornfield Hall to find it burnt to the ground… But what of the residents?

Opinion

I always find the classics hard to get into a first. The language is always convoluted and obviously old. To add to this, Jane Eyre also has 19th century French to contend with too. Luckily for me, I have spent the past 2 years in France so have a little understanding of the language but it still made me take longer than usual to read this. Women in the 1800’s who could read must also read French and perhaps German (due to the odd lines found within these pages).

Jane Eyre is quite a modern take on life for women of the time. Clearly this is a theme of classic women heroines as Jane Austen creates quite feminist women too. They only marry men they love, status is not really a question for them if they love them and they wont take anything less in life than what they feel they deserve. All very modern ideas. However, whilst our heroine’s don’t seem to follow the 19th century archetype, the supporting cast do. Mr. St. John doesn’t love Jane but asks her to marry him so that he may have an intellectual woman with him in India and it would not be right to take his cousin as his cousin or even as his sister. The supposed union between Miss. Ingram and Mr. Rochester is shown to be the ‘proper’ union until we see she is just a gold digging, status hungry wench. These little things all add to the ‘traditional’ of Charlotte Brontë’s era.

The writing is excellent. Brontë paints some excellent scenes and her transition from child Jane through adolescence and womanhood are beautifully portrayed. Her growing love for Rochester is not forced and her acknowledgement of both his and her flaws is true for all 19 year olds. The questioning of her age is still viable today. Anyone would regard a 20 year age gap with some distaste in either era.

My verdict for this book is 7/10. I think if it wasn’t for the random bouts of French and if I was reviewing this when it came out it would have been higher but still, for a book 167 years old, this is an excellent score and well worth a read.

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Filed under Book Review, Charlotte Brontë, Classic