Posts Tagged ‘Book Review’

I recently read “The Girls from Corona del Mar” by Rufi Thorpe.

“The Girls from Corona del Mar” by Rufi Thorpe (via Goodreads)

The blurb reads:

“Mia and Lorrie Ann are lifelong friends. While Mia struggles with a mother who drinks, a pregancy at fifteen and younger brothers she loves but can’t quite be good to, Lorrie Ann is luminous, surrounded by her close-knit family and immune to the mistakes that mar her best friend’s life. Until a sudden loss catapults Lorrie Ann into tragedy and there is nothing Mia can do to help. As good, kind, brave Lorrie Ann stops being so good, Mia begins to question just who this woman is and what that question means about them both.”

It is an interesting novel, exploring a friendship which seems like the usual intense friendship that only exists between two teenager girls, until a chain of events starts which changes that friendship into something confusing and difficult.

It feels like Mia is the troublesome one with issues in her homelife and her personal life, and that Lorrie Ann is the goody two-shoes, who has a loving family, gets married and has a baby and looks set to have an ordinary life. It’s amazing how wrong life can go for someone who seems perfect in all ways. It seem a little bit unfair that Lorrie Ann gets all the worse things thrown at her and she goes off the rails and becomes a character who Mia struggles to understand.

I felt sorry for Lorrie Ann at first but then when she starts making stupid decisions, I find myself being less sympathetic and more irritated with the way she’s messing up her life. Mia seems to straighten out when she goes to college and her life seems to be pretty good and normal, and she is the more likeable character all the way through the novel.

You feel like you know the two girls, especially when you grow up with people like them, but then you discover something totally surprising which makes you wonder if you really knew them at all and can’t comprehend how you never saw that part of them.

I give this novel 7/10 because the plot thickens over time, throws up some many questions and deals with so many different issues. It’s well written and kept me reading on, but I’m not sure I’d read it again.

I actually finished reading “How To Build A Girl” by Caitlin Moran a few weeks ago and completely forgot to write a review for it! I’ve read Moran’s columns and 2 of her previous books and enjoy her writing, and I thought I’d give this a try.

“How To Build A Girl” by Caitlin Moran (via Goodreads)

The blurb reads:

“My name’s Johanna Morrigan. I’m fourteen, and I’ve just decided to kill myself.

I don’t really want to die, of course! I just need to kill Johanna, and build a new girl. Dolly Wilde will be everything I want to be, and more! But as with all the best coming-of-age stories, it doesn’t exactly go to plan…”

It’s actually a good book, although at times it feels a bit too similar to her actual life as described in “How To be A Woman” with her growing up in poverty and working for a music magazine, which made me wonder if she can actually write about anything else.

However, Johanna is a typical teenager who doesn’t fit in and tries to reinvent herself to become someone different. She goes about it fairly extremely, changing her name, dying her hair black and wearing eccentric outfits in black. She educates herself about music in order to get a job, and uses her new self to create a new life for herself. She seems to go a bit crazy at points, which makes for interesting reading! Her actions are not only to further and improve herself, but also to help provide for her family and lift them out of poverty.

I love her crazy adventures and the way she does things. Her relationships with her family and others are typically mixed and fascinating to read about. It seemed obvious to me that pretending to be Dolly Wilde was going to cause problems for her at some point and it does!

I did enjoy reading this novel, and I give it 8/10 because it’s just so different and a breath of fresh air (ironic, given the amount of smoking she does) and was worth reading!

“Divergent” by Veronica Roth (via Goodreads)

I finished reading “Divergent” by Veronica Roth last weekend.

I wanted to see what the fuss is about as it has been turned into a film recently, although it didn’t really grab my attention as something I really wanted to read.

The idea of a society divided into factions is interesting because you can see how and why such factions exist and what sort of people they consist of. However, this novel seems to think people can be divided into factions based on personality traits as if they are black and white, when really there are shades of grey in everything.

The action seems to flow quite quickly but the rush doesn’t help me form an attachment to the characters and I still found myself taking a while to read the novel. The relationship between Tris and Four/Tobias seems to happen quite quickly, especially with Tris being supposedly reserved and finding it difficult to be more intimate with people when she’s not used public displays of affection and so on. It’s not really believable that she could get over 16 years of ingrained behaviour so quickly. And she manages to use her lack of emotions to beat up people when told to. She is pretty bad-ass and tough but she makes friends and enemies both in her chosen faction and others, and is unable to find a place where she feels truly at home. It just feels like she’s trying to be someone she’s not, which I suppose is the point of the novel but it just doesn’t feel right.

I can’t say it was the best book I’ve read, but it was OK. I read it while on holiday and it was an interesting read but didn’t have me hooked immediately. It feels like it could be really good, but it just isn’t explored as much as it could be. If we’re going for dystopian societies with people divided into factions, I think “The Hunger Games” wins hands down! This just isn’t as good!

I give it 6/10 because it has promise but doesn’t deliver. I’m not sure I want to read the others in the series!