Review: Got You Back

March 21, 2010

Title: Got You Back
Author : Jane Fallon
Rating : 9/10
Great for : the bath and the beach

James is married to Stephanie, but lives a double life in two parts of the UK.  His girlfriend Katie thinks he is divorced.  When Stephanie finds out about Katie, they decide to have some fun with James and seek revenge for the way he’s treated them.

I loved this book.  Fairly chick lit in style, but sensible chick lit.  You don’t get the typical ending and the story was a really nice read.  Another one done in about 14 hours, I just couldn’t put it down.

I loved Jane Fallon’s first book as well, Getting Rid Of Matthew, so either are worth a nosy if you fancy.

APOW

What To Read Next?

March 18, 2010

I’ve almost finished the book I’m reading at the moment, and can’t decide what to read next.  The following are all in the pile.  What do you think?

Queen of the Big Time  by Adriana Trigiani

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian – Marina Lewycka

Notes on a Scandal – Zoe Heller (loved the film)

Love Lives – Josie Lloyd & Emlyn Rees

Any advice gratefully received!

Caroline x

What are you all reading at the moment?  What’s hot and what’s not?

We need some good recommendations for books over here, so tell us what you’ve got your noses stuck into at the moment.

Review: Two-Faced

March 14, 2010

Title: Two-Faced
Author : Mandasue Heller
Rating : 7/10
Great for : getting through in a day

If you like Martina Cole, you’ll like Mandasue Heller.

Two-Faced is the story of two identical twins Mia and Michelle.  One good, one bad.  One gets into modelling and drugs, the other studying and continually gets her sister out of the do-do for little gratitude and thanks.  The write up left me expecting a story that didn’t materialise at all either.

It wasn’t a bad story, but yet again the end came all too quick and the loose ends don’t get tied up enough or too fast.  Ever had one of those books where you feel the author is on fast forward towards the end?  It just all felt a bit unbelievable for me.

But not a bad one, for the beach or the bath.

Review: Hester’s Story

March 12, 2010

Title:         Hester’s Story

Author:  Adele Geras

ISBN:        0-75286-504-8

Rating:     3/10

Great for: Reaching the end

***

I guess I’d better introduce myself first!

I’m Caroline (What’s Happening At My House), and Kat and Apow have kindly invited me to join them as a blogger here at The Book It List. 

So, without further ado, here’s my first review:

 ***

It’s a long time since I’ve been so pleased to reach the end of a book, unfortunately.  The blurb on the back goes something like this:

“Hester Fielding’s ambition and hard work have taken her from a bleak and lonely childhood to the glory of a prima ballerina’s career. But for a long time, she has been keeping a secret which could destroy her … if it were ever discovered.

Now, Hester is no longer dancing and lives quietly at Wychwood House.  Ever winter, a special ballet is performed at the small theatre in the ground.  This year as everyone begins to arrive, Hester receives an unexpected phone call, and against a backdrop of rivalry, gossip, love affairs and deceit, realises that the past is no longer something she can regret.”

This is Adele Geras’ first attempt at adult fiction: she previously wrote children’s books, and this was very apparent in the lack of character development, and really clunky dialogue.

I guessed the ‘twist’ that came at the end when I was less than halfway through the book, which didn’t help my enjoyment levels.

On the positive side, I liked the way the stories of the present and the past were told in tandem, chapter by chapter, and the overall premise of the book was not bad at all.

Edit out 150 pages, make the characters more like real people, and it would be vastly improved, in my humble opinion.

Caroline x

Title: A Family Daughter
Author : Maile Meloy
ISBN : 978-0-7195-6647-9
Rating : 2/10
Great for : nothing

The write up on the back of this book went like this…

It is 1979 and seven year old Abby, the youngest member of the close-knit Santerre family, is trapped indoors with chickenpox during a heatwave.  The events of that summer will change her family’s lives forever.

Plus the author was shortlisted for a prize from Richard and Judy, so that was it for me, I was sold.  This was going to be a good book.

Or not.

I expected the book to be about the events of that summer of 1979.  Wrong, that lasted about 10 pages.  The rest of the book continues on from ‘that’ summer.  I can’t tell you how the events of ‘that’ summer change the family’s lives forever as they didn’t.  The family do nothing that any other family wouldn’t do.  One has an affair, one dies, a Russian prostitute finds her adopted son and then leaves again.  The whole underlying story is that Abby slept with her Uncle on several occasions, not during ‘that’ summer, but later when she was 20 and wrote a book about it.

I really expected and hoped the end of the book to bring some huge finale, to make it worth my while having read the 200 or so pages of nothingness, but no.  The end was even stranger than the beginning.

Just. plain. wierd.

Review : Baby Steps

March 7, 2010

Title: Baby Steps
Author : Jason Davis
Rating : 8/10
Great for : showing you the lighter side of IVF (if there is one)

I don’t usually cross over my blogs and talk about fertility stuff on here, however this book was worth a mention!

It chronicles the author and his wife’s attempt to conceive a child in such a humourous way.  It’s not often you pick up a fertility type book either written by a man or written from the man’s perspective, so this made a welcome change.

From the ‘sample’ room to learning to stick needles in his wife, Jason narrates their story in a hilarious, but heartfelt way.  As I’m fairly sure it won’t be a book you read unless you are ‘trying’, I’ll tell you it all ends happily for them!

I’m not sure we get many men reading this or people that are trying to conceive, but trust me, it’s worth a read if you are!

How lovely – a whole day to celebrate the wonderful invention known as the book!

Though the focus is mainly on children (check out the World Book Day website for loads of events and offers if you have a little’un ) what a wonderful excuse to get your nose stuck in a book.

Happy reading!

x

Title: The Ravenscar Dynasty, The Heirs of Ravenscar and Being Elizabeth
Author : Barbara Taylor Bradford
Rating : 7/10
Great for : keeping you going for a few weeks

I’ve been missing in action for a few weeks as I’ve been reading this trilogy of books which was some 1500 pages.  I read BTB many years ago and she was ok, so I thought these would be a good read.

And they were at the start.  Spanning some 100 years, the story focuses on the Deravenel family and their family firm Deravenels.  Cue many power struggles, love affairs and deaths.  I enjoyed the books less as I progressed through them.

I quite like reading about tussles in business, but the book dealt with this by either having someone murdered and then no investigation or a period of years would just be missed and then one page would cover what had happened, so not enough detail for me.

It was funny how the book progressed from the very prim and proper in the early 1900’s to the year 2000 and beyond.  Have to give BTB credit for adapting really well to that.

Still probably worth a read if you like a number of books about the same people / family.

Anyone else read BTB?  Fan or not?

Title: The Comfort of Strangers
Author : Ian McEwan
ISBN : 978-0-099-75491-6
Rating : 6/10
Great for : passing a couple of hours

The Comfort of Strangers really wasn’t at all what I expected.  The story starts benignly enough – a couple are on holiday in an unnamed European city (which I think from the descriptions must be Venice) and we initially follow their experiences of the city with a dispassionate voyeurism.  They then meet Robert, a local who runs a neighbouring bar.  Things suddenly become rather macabre and sinister, and McEwen closes with a somewhat brutal ending.

Not really my cup of tea but, it’s only 100 pages in length so I’m glad I read it.