24 November 2013

Books of 2013: Part 3

Well I have not stopped, I've been between work in Barnsley, Hertford and London for more work constantly for weeks.  I can't wait for next weekend when the only thing I have to do is Christmas lunch with my school friends! (although I am going to London again in the week for a conference!) I seriously need a lie in!  Anyway because I've been away every weekend for the last month or so I've spent my nights after work catching up with things I normally do at the weekend (cleaning, tidying etc) which has essentially meant I'm miles behind on my blogging!  I am determined not too get too far behind with this book series but that is proving difficult and it also means neglecting my other kinds of blog post, so you'll just have to bare with me!  Anyway enough excuses, on with part 3!


Tessa has just a few months to live.

Fighting back against hospital visits, endless tests, drugs with excruciating side-effects, Tessa compiles a list. It's her To Do Before I Die list. And number one is sex.

Released from the constraints of 'normal' life, Tessa tastes new experiences to make her feel alive while her failing body struggles to keep up.

Tessa's feelings, her relationships with her father and brother, her estranged mother, her best friend, her new boyfriend, all are painfully crystallized in the precious weeks before Tessa's time finally runs out.

I actually picked this book up during a bit of a buying spree in Waterstones thinking it was a different, similarly named book.  I wasn't expecting much from it when I realised my mistake, but it actually was pretty entertaining.  Its a YA book, easy to read and much more blunt then the usual YA fair (for instance, theres a scene early on in the book where she sneaks into a night club and tries to loose her virginity with a random guy, normally in these kind of books they 'come to there senses',  realises its not right and don't go through with it, in this however she did) and I respected the book more so for this, it felt more real and brave.
This is a book about a dying girl, but she wasn't painted as flawless, just a normal teen with normal desires, trying to get on with her life while she can, and I think this is what made it more enjoyable.  It felt honest and sad at times.  I would recommend this book for anyone after a quick read, dealing with some heavy issues in a not too heavy way
****

In seventeenth-century Boston, Hester Prynne shoulders the scorn of her fellow Puritan townsfolk for bearing a child out of wedlock. For her refusal to name the father of her daughter Pearl, Hester is made to wear a scarlet "A" stitched conspicuously upon her dress. But though she bears the stigma of the shame her peers would confer upon her, others feel the guilt for her transgression more acutely—notably the pious Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale, the confessor with whom Hester and Pearl's destinies are intimately bound up.

I collected Barnes and Noble leather-bound edition books (I will do a blog post about my collection at some point) and added this beautiful book to my collection a year or so ago.  I haven't read most of these books yet (I am quite precious about them) but I was in the mood for a classic.  Spurred on by the amazing film Easy A (in which she reads this book in class and is inspired by it) I decided to get stuck in.
However this is one of the WORST books I have ever read.  The first and last chapters in particularly are both awfully written and completely unnecessary.  Seriously you can completely skip these, they don't effect the story at all, it sort of like "oh i found this robe, I wonder who it belongs to" *rewinds time back and story begins* except much more wordy and unnecessarily long and awkward to understand..  The plot itself you could easily fit into a couple of paragraphs but they stretch it out into a book by using unnecessary language and dragging everything out making it incredibly slow and boring.  Each chapter really only needed to be a sentence.  The general story is OK(ish) and so thats why I have given it more then once star but seriously, buy the book cause the cover looks pretty, leave it at that.
**


Magic takes many forms. Supernatural magic is what our ancestors used in order to explain the world before they developed the scientific method. The ancient Egyptians explained the night by suggesting the goddess Nut swallowed the sun. The Vikings believed a rainbow was the gods’ bridge to earth. The Japanese used to explain earthquakes by conjuring a gigantic catfish that carried the world on its back—earthquakes occurred each time it flipped its tail. These are magical, extraordinary tales. But there is another kind of magic, and it lies in the exhilaration of discovering the real answers to these questions. It is the magic of reality—science.

Nice bit of none fiction!  This book is aimed at 12+ but it really is good for everyone!  I haven't studied Science since school and this covers some of the stuff I know I learnt then but in a much more fun, interesting and understandable way.  It is a great book for people getting back into this kind of thing or who just have a curiosity.  For instance it covers, atoms, rainbows and evolution in a new light which really made me understand it much more then I ever did at school when I was just learning facts to pass exams!  I would recommend this for everyone old enough to understand it.
*****


On her seventeenth birthday, Cassia meets her match. The Society dictates that he is her perfect partner for life, except he's not.

In Cassia's society, Officials decide who people love.
How many children they have.
Where they work.
When they die.

But, as Cassia finds herself falling in love with another boy, 
she is determined to make some choices of her own.

And that's when her whole world
begins to unravel...

I actually lent this book from my younger sister in the sumer of 2012 and got about 75% of the way through it before I left it in the back of a friends car on the way to a gig, never to be seen again.  I eventually got round to replacing it for her and finished it off.  To be honest I haven't got much to say about this, it's hard with me having read most of it so long ago.  It's a decent YA dystopian, no more no less, I wouldn't mind finishing the trilogy at some point but I'm in no rush to do so.
****


Restoration is set in eighteenth-century England: a world of
cruelty, injustice and iron privilege. Lord Are is forced by poverty
into an unwanted marriage with the daughter of a wealthy mineowner. One
morning, during breakfast, he commits a bizarre and fatal crime. He
seeks to pin responsibility for it on his guileless, illiterate
footman, Bob Hedges. A battle ensues between Bob's black,
justice-hungry wife and the fortified privilege of the ruling classes.

I'm an ex-drama student and worked in theatre for 4 1/2 years so it makes sense that every now and again I like to read a good play.  On top of that at some time during my second year of university I took an interest in the restoration period (the time when Charles II was restored to the thrown after the Puritans got rid of the monarchy), so much so I wrote my dissertation about a famous figure of this period.  This book I bought to read during that time and never got round to it, and finally got read it this year!  It was mega short and billed as a comedy, so I figured I'd wiz through it and get a laugh, I was greatly disappointed   To be totally honest looking back now I don't remember much other then I hated it and it had no plot, don't go out of your way to read/see this.  That's all I have to say.
**

So there you are, books 11-15, we have a long way to go!  I hope you enjoyed it!  I'm currently in London, having come down for work, and stayed the weekend to grab some culture so hopefully I'll be sharing that soon.  In the meantime if your liking this book series follow my Goodreads I update it regularly :)

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