Mini Reviews: February 2010

More mini reviews from prior to the birth of this blog…short but sweet!

First Among Sequels: A Thursday Next Novel by Jasper Fforde

Starts off a bit slow (a refresher of Thursday’s worlds- the Outland and the Book World) but certainly picks up pace soon after. With carpets, cheese and many Thursdays, this book is set later than the other books in the series. It’s hard to believe that Thursday is in her fifties! Nevertheless, this still packs a punch and I really wish the next book was published. 8 out of 10.

Really Angelic: Pride and Prejudice with a steamy paranormal twist… by Enid Wilson

I reviewed this as part of the Goodreads Early Reviewer programme.
This is definitely not for Austen purists nor for the prudish as there are a lot of liberties taken. There’s significant changes to the plot (of course) and a lot of sex. It’s simple and fun though, leave your inhibitions behind and enjoy the ride. 7 out of 10.

Girls like funny boys by Dave Franklin

This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

This is an odd book- the contents don’t match the blurb on the back. It’s not so much about Johnny growing up, going to uni, but rather him in his late thirties, making a hash of it all. There’s some teenage angst and romance, blokey moments and some serious action.

The narrative tends to jump around a bit from situation to situation and different times. I liked the character of Jen, the Gladiator the best- she was hilarious. The book is well written, but I would have like to see less plot lines and time periods.

Thanks to Library Thing for offering me the opportunity to read this through the Early Reviewers programme. 6.5 out of 10.

Or Is That Just Me? by Richard Hammond

A short and fast read, but interesting collection of tales as Richard Hammond is dragged kicking and screaming towards 40. Not as much Top Gear info as I would have liked (but I like my Top Gear in huge doses) but some funny stories. The UK edition I bought had stickers to ‘poke fun at the short bloke from Top Gear’- Richard, you’re not that bad! Really. 8 out of 10.

The Gift by Cecelia Ahern

This is a cute book. Maybe some will find it’s trying to teach you a lesson (ie. value those around you), but I didn’t find that (perhaps I’m getting soft in my old age). I was kept guessing be the ending, but I wonder why there are always deaths in books by this author (cf P.S. I Love You)? There is also a little bit of suspension of reality in order for the main character, Lou, to learn his lesson.
Please don’t read this as a happy Christmas book, because although you may be more inclined to listen to your great aunt’s trips down memory lane, it may not put you in the happiest festive spirit… 8 out of 10.

Sesame Street: A Celebration of 40 Years of Life on the Street… by Louise A. Gikow

What a lovely book. Not for children, but a lavish tale with gorgeous pictures of the history of Sesame Street and where it is today. I didn’t realise half the things they did!
A great trip down memory lane- Teeny Little Super Guy, Muppets and all my favourite characters. 9.5 out of 10.

A Song in the Daylight by Paullina Simons

Ugh. What a terrible book. The plot is unoriginal, the book is about 300 pages too long, the characters unlikeable and a pathetic ending.
This is not the Paullina Simons of The Bronze Horseman; had this work been submitted by another author, I think it would have undergone severe editing rather than a rush print to meet the Christmas rush.
Larissa, the main character, is boring and can’t make up her mind. She’s a whiner, whingy who would just like someone to decide for her even though she cloaks herself in many, many (exceptionally boring) philosophical conversations. The only character I liked was the cuckolded husband, who actually learned something from the whole thing.
The author’s knowledge of Australia is rather pathetic too- ‘Western Territories’? Look at a map of Australia and you’ll see Western Australia is a state, and no, camel is not the main form of transport. I wonder if she’s actually been to Jindabyne?
And just wondering about the constant brand dropping (Jag, Escada etc)- any bonus in that?
Don’t read this. It’s a shocker. 3 out of 10.


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