Sunday, October 4, 2009

Short reviews

I was going to do these one of two ways: as Serious Reviews, with separate posts and all, or as fangirly flailing short reviews. Obviously, option B won out.

So. Up first is Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger which is, like, this totally awesome ghost story (um ... my fangirl is from the Valley, apparently). Anyway ... Elspeth - who lives in London - is dying of cancer. She leaves her flat to her twin nieces Julia and Valentina, who she hasn't seen since they were babies. Julia and Valentina are mirror-twins, 20 year olds adrift. They move to London and set off a series of unprecedented events.

You know how you get those books, and even way after you've read them the thought of them raise those tiny hairs on the back of your neck? Yeah. Her Fearful Symmetry is that book. I did kind of have issues with the ending at the time, but thinking about it now, it all makes sense.
Without (I hope) giving too much away; there are characters that are vivid and remain that way (Martin and Marijke come to mind); there are characters that start out vivid and start to fade (Robert) and there are characters that start out a little faded and vague and come in to sharp relief - not always for the right reasons (Elspeth). And ... there's a Little Kitten of Death. And Highgate Cemetery, which is basically another character and really adds to the Gothic/ghostly tone.

9/10 So good, you'd take it to meet your Mum

Next up is ... The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness. ZOMG!!!! How did I not know about this?? Seriously. I had this book on my shelf for a YEAR before reading it. And I only read it because so many people were being fangirl/boys about it on Twitter. So you know ... thanks.
Um. It's set in the future, on a world far far away. There are no women, and all of the men left in Prentisstown - where the story begins - can hear each other's thoughts all the time. The narrator is the last boy left in the village - Todd, who is about a month away from becoming a man. When Todd hears something he's not expecting - ie the absence of Noise - he has to get out of Dodge, er, Prentisstown. Plus, there's a talking dog, who is obsessed with poo.

I'm failing to convey how awesome this is. IT IS AWESOME. READ IT.
10/10 Could not be improved on, even by angel dust and a basket of kittens

Last but not least, we have The Brightest Star in the Sky by Marian Keyes. This one is a little hard to describe to be honest. It's a little whimsical, and a little dark, and chock-full of humour, which is always a good thing. It's narrated by an unseen ... entity and it took me a while to work out just what that entity was. Okay. It took me until the book spelled it out for me.
Um. The lives of the residents of four flats of the same flat block are about to change forever. Mostly in good ways. Some in not so good ways.
It IS better than This Charming Man, which I liked, but ... yeah. It was one of those ... but ... books.
For The Brightest Star in the Sky:
8/10 That movie that you've watched 100 times and you never get tired of


Ana S. said...

I love your fangirl posts, Maree :D And I also love the fact that #TKONLG is starting to get some serious attention in blogland. It seems that when it was first published many of us missed out on TEH AWESOMENESS.

Also, I need Her Fearful Symmetry!

Care said...

I didn't read these reviews because I really really really really want to read them and don't want to know too much, ya know? and I was thinking I had The Brightest Star but alas, no, I've got The Bright Forever. PS The Whale Rider is on its way to me! I'm eagerly awaiting it.