Saturday, 30 April 2011

Mikey Walsh: Gypsy Boy

Mikey was born into a Romany Gypsy family. They live in a closeted community, and little is known about their way of life. After centuries of persecution Gypsies are wary of outsiders and if you choose to leave you can never come back. This is something Mikey knows only too well and the caravan and camp were his world. But although Mikey inherited a vibrant and loyal culture his family's legacy was bittersweet with a hidden history of grief and abuse.

This is a fascinating account of a child realising that he does not belong. It was a funny, sad, shocking and thought-provoking read. I can truly recommend this read although some of the descriptions of abuse are not for the faint-hearted...

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Penelope Lively: Family Album

Allersmead is a big shabby Victorian suburban house. The perfect place to grow up for elegant Sandra, difficult Gina, destructive Paul, considerate Katie, clever Roger and flighty Clare. But was it? As adults, the children return to Allersmead one by one. To their home-making mother and aloof writer father, and a house that for years has played silent witness to a family’s secrets.

I expected a gripping mystery or ethical dilemma like Jodi Picoult. This was nothing like it. The story was quite captivating for the family stories and secrets, but certainly compares to Maeve Binchy more than anybody else.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Diane Chamberlain: The lies we told

After witnessing the murder of their parents, Maya and Rebecca Ward had only each other to cling to in their teenage years and beyond. Now both doctors, they have developed very different coping strategies since the tragedy. Daredevil Rebecca races off to disaster sites with an international team of doctors whilst Maya is content in her quiet medical practice and life with her husband Adam. When a hurricane devastates north Carolina, Maya is feared dead. Adam and Rebecca are left to mourn and hope for a miracle but as the days pass and hope fades, they face unexpected and unwanted feelings and Rebecca discovers that she's been burying some secrets of her own.

I found out about Diane Chamberlain, as she was compared to Jodi Picoult. It's certainly true that this book has got certain traits of a typical Picoult novel, but it doesn't really match the original. The storyline was flatter, although still interesting and the characters where slightly less realistic. Overall, though, this book made for entertaining reading and certainly won't be my last Chamberlain novel.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Jodi Picoult: Sing you home

In the aftermath of a series of personal tragedies, Zoe Baxter throws herself into her career as a music therapist. When an unexpected friendship slowly blossoms into love, she makes plans for a new life, but to her shock and inevitable rage, some people - even those she loves and trusts most - don't want that to happen.

This is yet another great read by Jodi Picoult, writer of ethical dilemmas. This story was never boring although it isn't as dramatic as some of her other books. It's a great read for the characters as well as the diversity of topics from love to gay rights...

Monday, 18 April 2011

Stephenie Meyer: Twilight 04 - Breaking Dawn

Twilight tempted the imagination ...New Moon made readers thirsty for more ...Eclipse turned the saga into a worldwide phenomenon ...And now - the book that everyone has been waiting for ...Breaking Dawn. In the much anticipated fourth book in Stephenie Meyer's love story, questions will be answered and the fate of Bella and Edward will be revealed.

Very good story and great fun to read although it was a little bit too predictable at times.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Stephenie Meyer: Twilight 03 - Eclipse

'Bella?' Edward's soft voice came from behind me. I turned to see him spring lightly up the porch steps, his hair windblown from running. He pulled me into his arms at once, and kissed me again. His kiss frightened me. There was too much tension, too strong an edge to the way his lips crushed mine - like he was afraid we had only so much time left to us. As Seattle is ravaged by a string of mysterious killings and a malicious vampire continues her quest for revenge, Bella once again finds herself surrounded by danger. In the midst of it all, she is forced to choose between her love for Edward and her friendship with Jacob - knowing that her decision has the potential to ignite the ageless struggle between vampire and werewolf. With her graduation approaching, Bella has one more decision to make: life or death. But which is which?

Fast read and pacy. Better than the second one, although some of the storylines became a bit too kitchy and cliche.