Sunday, 27 September 2015

Will Grayson, Will Grayson - John Green and David Levithan


One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two strangers cross paths. Two teens with the same name, running in two very different circles, suddenly find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, culminating in heroic turns-of-heart and the most epic musical ever to grace the high-school stage.

My Review

I've been saving this book for a long time as it's the last John Green book I haven't read. Instead of being sad when it was over, I was thrilled because I'd found a new author I was excited about - David Levithan.

I didn't think it was possible, but I loved Levithan's chapters more than Green's. I know. I was shocked too.

The chatty insightful narrative hooked me at once and I was in. I recognised Green's style straight away and was pulled into the familiar ebb and flow of his writing. I thought it was odd how easy it was for me to pick out which of the Will Grayson's was Green's, but that just meant that both styles were so different which is what this book needed.

There's not really much I can say about this book other than I loved it. It was funny and deep and beautiful, but all Green's books are. I've come to expect that.

All I can say is that I felt like I wasn't reading this book. I just jumped right in and lived there.


Overall 9/10

Would I recommend it? Yes

Would I look up the author? Yes. I've read all of John Green's books now but I'm definitely going to be looking up David Levithan.

Will Grayson, Will Grayson was funny, insightful and beautiful, but what else did I expect from two masters of YA?

Molly Looby
Author / Ghostwriter / Editor / Blogger / Reviewer / Wrimo / Movellian / ZA Ready

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Third Circle - Jerry Beckett


An old-fashioned adventure set in western Cornwall. A spirit of immense power is seeking to destroy our world. Our last defence lies in the weathered stone circles of Cornwall, but their resilience is failing as they crumble away. Karin is dying from a family sickness. She is healed by having the dried blood of an ancestor bound into her veins. It imbues her with power from the ancient land of Cornwall, and she is shown how to use that power in defence of the stone circles by a mystic called Ambrose Pearce. A local farmer, Jago Struck, is possessed by the spirit. His family has long sought to destroy the stone circles. He kidnaps Karin's brother Denzil in the hope of getting similar power for himself and his master. The evil spirit strives to break through the stone circles that form age-old barriers protecting the land. The circles are weakening, especially the Third Circle at Tregeseal. Karin's power and connection with the land may be the only hope. That hope begins to fail when Denzil enters the battle ... against his sister.

My Review

I found it strange that while reading Third Circle, all I could hear was the Cornish accent Jerry would do whilst reading chapters of this out. I am lucky enough to go to the same writers' club as Jerry and I couldn't help hearing his voice in the dialogue of his characters. I think that's a compliment as it was a while ago that he read chapters of this to us and that proves that something about this story has stayed with me.

I'm also glad that I got to read Third Circle from the beginning at last. I've got to tell you, the whole thing makes a lot more sense if you read it from the start! But the same things shone through as when I first heard chapters: the charm of the story and the characters. It's so rare to find a book so different but this is a great example. 

Third Circle is filled with magic, adventure and a British-ness I couldn't help but love. Plus it has the added bonus of being unlike anything I've ever read before.

Molly Looby
Author / Ghostwriter / Editor / Blogger / Reviewer / Wrimo / Movellian / ZA Ready

Monday, 14 September 2015

The Fall of Five - Pittacus Lore

This is book four in the Lorien Legacies series - which I highly recommend - so if you don't want books 1, 2 and 3 spoilt, please don't read on!

A Spoiler Free Bit About The Book

The whole gang gets together at last!

My Review

Okay, out of all four of the Lorien Legacies books I've read so far, this was my least favourite, so it was sort of disappointing because the third one was my favourite. 

It felt too slow to start considering how fast and action-packed book three was. This had me struggling to get into it like the others that I could hardly put down.

It was also sometimes difficult to follow. Each book brings a new point of view. Book one was Four/John Smith then we added Marina/Seven in book two and Six in book three and now Sam. I'm not saying that I don't like these POVs. I actually think it's amazing that I like them all. But you can tell who is speaking at a glance based on the fonts used but now some of the fonts are similar and I had to really concentrate to figure out who was in charge. But during one scene, it jumped around so much I almost completely lost what was going on. It was such a shame because Lore's action sequences are usually so clear.

The ending was a bit boring to be honest with you. I've come to expect a certain level of wow with these books and this one just didn't pack as much of a punch. I got to the exciting part and I started turning pages and getting into it and then it ended. I was like, "oh . . . it's over?"

But even after all this, it was still great.


Overall 8/10

Would I recommend it? Yes. I love this series.

Would I look up the author? Yes. I will be reading book five as soon as I get my hands on it.

The Fall of  Five wasn't quite as good as its predecessors but it was still great.

Molly Looby
Author / Ghostwriter / Editor / Blogger / Reviewer / Wrimo / Movellian / ZA Ready

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Starcrossed - Josephine Angelini

A Spoiler Free Bit About The Book

Helen hates Lucas . . . I couldn't read much more of it after that.

My Review

The first thing you should know is that I avoided Starcrossed for years because the theme of Fire and Ice, the novel I've been perfecting, is also about two people who hate-love each other. Now I'm all done with it, I'm ready to read my competition.

I shouldn't have worried.

The first adverb was a doosey: 'optimistically'. How does that not jar for everyone reading? Plus, it couldn't be more superfluous. And in the second sentence of the novel. My hope plummeted after this. There were a load more adverbs, a lot of them embarrassing like this one. 'Lamely' for example was used more than once in the fifty pages I read. But you don't need me barking on about that. I've got a lot more to say about Starcrossed.

What stuck out to me was the 'telling'. Now I admit, 'telling' and not 'showing' is a hard thing to master but that's what separates new authors and ones that have stuck with their craft. I felt like Angelini had so much still to learn and yet someone had published her book? It wasn't just me being picky, I swear, we were told way too much in the first three pages. Three. A lot of it was easy to work out too but for some reason Angelini had to tell me who Helen's best friend was. Really? You don't think I could've worked that out for myself? The fact that Helen's pleased to see her? The fact she has a nickname for her? The fact that they talk easy together? No? That's not good enough. . . . well what do I know? I've never been published. *mumbles profanities about the publishing industry*

Even worse was the dialogue! It was so forced I was cringing. No one has conversations like these! I think they were supposed to be funny but I was just focusing on getting through this first disaster of a chapter, and I tell you, it was a challenge.

By less than ten pages in, I decided I at least had to wait for the love interest, Lucas, to show up before dropping the book like it was infectious and I'd catch its case of terrible. It was a long old wait. It's funnier if I give you an accurate representation of my thoughts while reading up until we meet Lucas.

Wait . . . I think I've read this somewhere before . . . "The entire family was supposed to be unbelievably smart and beautiful and wealthy". Hmm. I know everyone is still getting a kick out of hating Twilight (Whatever, I liked it when I was fifteen) but come on. This sentence alone shows that Meyer did it better. A hundred times better! Jeez.

I'm sorry, this is too hilarious. She's already complaining about Lucas and she hasn't even met him. Why would she have any inclination to do that? What, people who've read this book to the end? Something about them being like Greek God enemies or something ridiculous? I can't believe this book is a real thing.

I need to meet Lucas . . . now. But I also quite like my brain and I don't want it to up and walk out so I've got to skim. I have to. For the sake of my sanity.

Jeez . . . there's a lot of faff. On and on and on it goes. Give me Lucas! I've made a commitment dammit!

My god these characters are annoying.

What? Chapter two and still no Lucas? I'm on page 40 for crying out loud! I need this nightmare to be over! I'm not sure how much more I can take . . .

Yes! At last! Lucas. Oh my goodness, do I want to cry right now? I've never been so happy to see a character I haven't met yet. But there he is: "Then Helen saw Lucas for the first time".

Wait, what?

The paragraph following is a description of the weather? No! Give me a description of Lucas for god's sake! I can't even . . .

Okay, I'm sorry. This is too hilarious. She rushes over and then collapses? What is this? Where is the subtlety? About seven hundred miles away it seems.

I'm done. Okay. I can't. I'm done.

Well . . . at least I can say one thing for certain. I did it better.


Overall 1/10 - DID NOT FINISH

Would I recommend it? No. I wasn't ever sure what was supposed to draw me in and keep reading.

Would I look up the author? No. Angelini has so much still to learn

Starcrossed  reached a new level of not wanting to finish a book.

Molly Looby
Author / Ghostwriter / Editor / Blogger / Reviewer / Wrimo / Movellian / ZA Ready