Thursday, 29 October 2009

More mini reviews

I was first drawn to this book after it won the National Book Award in the US. Then the cover and the post-war "noir" setting did the rest.
But as much as I enjoyed reading it, it didn't stay with me for long. I suspect that this is one of those ones that I'd have loved more at 13 or 14. It definitely reminds me of the YA books I used to read at that age anyway.
It wasn't so much a mystery as a coming of age story ( and aren't they all?) of a girl, Evie, who discovers first love, first heartbreak, and first painful clash with reality.
The writing was excellent, and so was the characterizations. I probably wasn't crazy about the story, as I was always waiting for something more exciting to happen, which it never did. Maybe that's why I was a little disappointed. Nevertheless, a good read.

How can you not love Paddington? He's a cuddly fuzzy little bear from Peru! And he loves jam sandwiches. And he's messy and curious and tries hard to be a good bear but he's always in trouble. I want to keep him! Enough said.

In the Hand of the goddess is the second book in the Song of the Lioness series by Tamora Pierce. Last year I read the first one, and although I wasn't crazy about the writing I enjoyed reading about a strong young woman who disguise herself as a boy to become a knight. I have a soft spot for fighting women (see Buffy to name one!) so I couldn't skip it.
A lot happens in this second book. Alanna takes part in her first war, faces the chamber of the ordeal, survives countless attacks from Duke Roger, both Prince Jonathan and the thief lord George fall for her, and she even tries on her first dress willingly!
There's so much happening that everything feels a bit rushed and sketchy. Times flies and before you know it Alanna is eighteen and almost ready to leave the school. Also, the fact that Duke Roger is behind everything bad that happens at court and beyond is so obvious that it's puzzling how anybody can't see it, even Alanna at times. But if you don't ask for anything deeper than a bit of "sword & sorcery" fun, then Alanna's adventures aren't the worst.

Done! Next time I'll try to post a proper, articulate and insightful review. Until then, goodnight:)


Amanda said...

I wasn't terribly fond of that last one, sadly.

Vasilly said...

You know I read a lot of reviews that sounds like yours when it comes to What I Saw and How I Lied. Maybe I should take it off my TBR list. Great reviews.

Josette said...

I like the Alanna books too! I'd love to see Alanna and George together.

whatsisname said...

Paddington rocks! A thousand time better than Winnie the Pooh and, let joy be unconfined, Bond has apparently just released a new volume of Paddington!