Posts Tagged ‘Fiction’

Homer: How can you write such horrible things about me?
Marge: You told me you liked it! You didn’t read it at all! You lied to me!
Homer: I didn’t lie. I was writing fiction with my mouth.


– The Simpsons: “Diatribe of a Mad Housewife” Quotes – via


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!

I have just finished reading “Earth” by David Brin.

“Earth” by David Brin (via Goodreads)

The blurb reads:

“Time is running out. Decades from now, an artificial black hole has fallen into the earth’s core. As scientists frantically work to prevent the ultimate disaster, they discover the entire planet could be destroyed within a year. But while they look for an answer, others argue that the only way to save the Earth is to let its human inhabitants become extinct: to reset the evolutionary clock and start over.”

This book was an impulsive buy in Waterstones a few months ago, and it took me a fair while to read it, as I kept getting bored and reading other books. This month, I was determined to finish it once and for all, and after a few sessions, I finally finished the 624 page monster.

The idea of a black hole falling into the centre of the Earth sounded a little bit ridiculous, but I was intrigued by the possible annihilation of human life and how people could deal with this.

It is good in the respect that it presents a future Earth where the planet is struggling to feed and shelter its species, mainly due to the impact of human activity. It’s horrible to see that the state of affairs means that many species of animals are dying out as their habitats are destroyed by the changes in the atmosphere and the weather. The humans are given water rations and are forced to leave their home countries due to climate change. Technology has become a way of life, with people able to find out anything at the touch of a button and privacy becoming less common.

There are lots of excellent ideas in this novel, but the characters sort of ruin it because there are too many of them which we follow the progress of. It does add to the novel by giving a more rounded impression of how different humans are affected but there is just a bit too much noise from these characters.

I didn’t find it to be as exciting as it could have been, at least not until the last few chapters where things suddenly get more interesting!

It is a well-written novel, with interesting themes and a horrible vision of the future for the Earth, but it’s just a bit too long and laborious to read. It makes you think seriously about the issues which we are only just contemplating now, and which could potentially shorten the human species’ lifespan on Earth if we don’t do something while we can. I give it 7/10, and might even have given it more if it hadn’t been so long.