Friday, November 21, 2014

On My Nightstand - November

'Boy21'- Matthew Quick

Oh.  My heart, it is broke.  'Boy21' was all sorts of unexpected.  After reading 'Silver Linings',  I did expect to find the twisting together of brutal and honest and vulnerable, with the faintest fragile glimmer of hope - all of which were present.  I didn't expect Finley or Boy21 or Erin, each of whom carved a place in my heart.  I now must read each and every Matthew Quick novel immediately.  Between this and 'Silver Linings', I just... I have to.  

Maybe two thirds through the book there's a pretty hefty change of tack which a) explains much of what is unexplained at the start and b) veers away from what the novel has spent some time setting up.  I was unprepared, but I got it, and I'm okay with it, mostly - I just thought I better warn anyone planning to read this.  I urge YA fans to try this one out, I really found it beautiful.

There's much more I could say, but brevity is my mantra for book reviews.  I'll just very quickly add that the Harry Potter references were so very welcome.  

'The Elite' - Kiera Cass

I'm afraid to say I liked this much less than 'The Selection', to the point of forcing myself through it so that I could move on to my next read.  I actually started (and finished) 'Boy21' part way through because my brain needed a break.  Or the opposite.  There's really not much to say... There's really not much that happened, story-wise.  In fact, I would venture to say that nothing happened.  Nothing that changed the course of the story anyway.  The big question (who will she choose?  Well, we already know - and plus, does anyone really care?) that centres the plot, is supposed to carry us from start to finish.  But it's done badly.  So badly.  And becomes the major negative.  Annoyingly, I will probably read the final book before the end of the year, because I can't not read the third in a trilogy.

'Gone Girl' - Gillian Flynn

I reaaaaally enjoyed reading this, from start to finish.  I spotted the big 'twist' a mile off (you will too),   but that was okay, because the chapter that succeeded the twist was great!  Super satisfying.

Buuuuuut, after I woke from this bookdreamnightmare, I felt like my brain needed to be washed out with soap.  Hanging out with a bunch of truly toxic characters for that amount of time was hard-out, I definitely needed to find some likeable literary characters immediately afterward (thank you, Cinder!).  There were various foul descriptions of women, these repulsed me (and I really didn't feel like Flynn was doing anything to counteract these statements - you know?  If anything, I felt like she was confirming their truth, which is - despicable).  One in particular almost convinced me to stop reading, it was so offensive.  And well the ending... just... nope.

So why did I enjoy it?  Well, the twists and turns!  It never stops!  It's a hurtling train!  Gillian Flynn's writing is so confident, you feel like you're in safe hands as you frantically try to find an escape route for her characters.  It's compulsive reading, and Flynn is always a step ahead (although in saying this, there are some instances where convenience seems to guide some of her choices).  So I don't know if I loved it or hated it.  Have you read it?  How do you feel about it?

28/40 - Just a few more books to go - can I make it??  Read more reviews here.

YA novels
Forest Born - Shannon Hale
Cinder - Marissa Meyer (reading)
If I Stay - Gayle Forman (read)
The Fault In Our Stars - John Green (read)
The Jewel - Amy Ewing (read)
The Selection - Kiera Cass (read)
The Elite - Kiera Cass (read)
The One - Kiera Cass
The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman (read)
Boy 21 - Matthew Quick (read)
Love Letters To The Dead - Ava Dellaira (read)
We Were Liars - E. Lockhart (reading)
Eleanor & Park - Rainbow Rowell
Okay For Now - Gary D. Schmidt

Contemporary/Adult lit
The Interestings - Meg Wolitzer (DNF)
Rules of Civility - Amor Towles
Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn (read)
One More Thing - BJ Novak (reading)
The Goldfinch - Donna Tartt

NZ fiction
(Middle Grade) The Volume of Possible Endings - Barbara Else (read)
Spark - Rachael Craw (read)

Is It Just Me? - Miranda Hart (read)
I Am Malala - Malala Yousafzai

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