Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Genre: Classic | Fiction | Sci Fi | Dystopian

Pages: 119

Goodreads Amazon UK

Guy Montag is a fireman. In his world, where television rules and literature is on the brink of extinction, firemen start fires rather than put them out. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden.

“There must be something in books, something we can’t imagine, to make a woman stay in a burning house; there must be something there. You don’t stay for nothing.”

– Guy Montag, Fahrenheit 451

I read Fahrenheit 451 as part of the Popsugar 2019 Reading Challenge for the prompt “a book you see someone reading on TV or in a movie”. I was never really looking forward to reading this, but when I read the above description of the book it got me interested. A world where books are illegal?! What the heck?!

I thought that if this book didn’t appeal to me, 119 pages wasn’t a lot to get through and I’d be done with it pretty quickly. How wrong was I! This seemed to take me an age to read; despite how good the storyline sounded, it just did not hook me or keep me entertained. I’ve never been a fan of anything science fiction, so maybe this was a part of the reason why I disliked it so much.

The only character I had any liking for was the protagonist Guy Montag. Despite his job of burning books, he comes to realise just how special they are and what joy they can bring. The rest of the characters in parts 1 & 2 of the story (it is told in 3 parts) were just down right strange. The way they spoke, the way they behaved, even the relationship between Guy and Mildred who were husband and wife was just weird. There was no intimacy on any level. Other characters who had any kind of normalcy about them were Faber, Granger and the group of men that Guy meets in part 3.

I think it is largely the fact that this is a sci-fi/dystopian story. The concept was fantastic, but something in the way it was told could not keep me entertained, and makes me very reluctant to pick up any other books by Ray Bradbury. Two hearts to him!

Sleeping Murder By Agatha Christie

Sleeping Murder By Agatha Christie

Sleeping Murder (Miss Marple #13) by Agatha Christie

Genre: Mystery | Fiction | Crime | Classics

Pages: 303

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Soon after Gwenda Reed moved into her new home, odd things started to happen. Despite her best efforts to modernize the house, she only succeeded in dredging up its past. Worse, she felt an irrational sense of terror every time she climbed the stairs…

“It’s very dangerous to believe people, I haven’t for years.”

Agatha Christie, Sleeping Murder

The above quote is one of the truest things I have read in a while. I am getting to the stage in my life now where I am finding out what people are really all about.

But anyway… On to the book…

Fact about me: Agatha Christie is one of my favourite authors. I find her books to be quick but entertaining reads, especially the Miss Marple series.

Jane Marple is such an endearing, loveable character. I reckon I say this for most people when I say she is what everybody looks for in a grandmother. She is probably one of my favourite characters of all time. She’s quirky, clever, down right adorable, and the kind of lady I wished lived in my own town.

But it’s not just about Jane, is it? Her character was created by the wonderful Agatha Christie. I’ll be honest and say I haven’t read a great deal of her books, but many are on my list for Popsugar Challenges 2019. and past years that I want to catch up with.

Now on to the story. The main characters that the story focuses around are newly married couple Gwenda and Giles Reed. I found both extremely likeable, however it seemed such a coincidence that Gwenda happened to stumble across the very same house in which she spent some of her childhood years. Personally, I would have left the past well alone, but with her having no remaining family I can understand why she would want to do some digging. And of course, this is where Miss Marple steps in, right on cue!

As always with a Miss Marple mystery, I found myself trying to work out the ‘who dunnit’ as the story progressed and more information came to light. And, as always, I never get it right. A lot of the female characters in this story came across as quite masculine, and were ‘away’ at the most convenient of times. This led me to believe that one of the female characters was responsible.. Wrong!

Christie’s Marple mysteries are never really that in depth, but the characters are always interesting enough to keep me interested. To me, they are a nice cosy little mystery, a break from some of the heavier books that I might read. I will always think highly of Agatha Christie, and can’t wait to dig into more of her books.

The Owl Service By Alan Garner

The Owl Service By Alan Garner

The Owl Service by Alan Garner

Genre: Fiction | Fantasy | Young Adult | Children’s | Mythology

Pages: 224

Goodreads         Amazon UK

It all begins with the scratching in the ceiling. From the moment Alison discovers the dinner service in the attic, with its curious pattern of floral owls, a chain of events is set in progress that is to effect everybody’s lives.

“She wants to be flowers, but you make her owls. You must not complain, then, if she goes hunting.”

“I wanted us to have a holiday, not a ruddy breakdown.”

“That man’s gaga,” said Roger when they were out of hearing. “He’s so far gone he’s coming back.”

Alan Garner, The Owl Service

I had no idea what to expect from this book. It was described to me as a children’s book, and at 224 pages I guess I expected that it was going to be a quick, easy read. Wrong!

I would have expected to finish this book in one sitting.. two at the most, but it just did not hold my attention. Whilst reading I would find myself drifting off, thinking about other things, or simply falling asleep.

There were a lot of bizarre events happening in this book which fell into the genre of fantasy.. Events that you would not expect to happen in a million years, however each characters reaction to such events were not realistic, as if it was quite ordinary to hear scratching noises coming from your attic, and objects flying across the room happened on a daily basis. And speaking of characters, there was not a one that I felt I could relate to, or felt even a slight connection to. I didn’t find any of them likeable.

Set in Wales, however not living far from it myself, I found the dialect hard to follow, which made it an uncomfortable read. As for being listed as a children’s book, I have no idea what age range they are classing ‘children’s book’ as, but I find it hard to believe that this book would appeal to anyone below the age of 14.

At the end of the book, the author mentioned that this book became a classic. Personally I had never heard of it until coming across it in a discussion on Goodreads. I’m not writer myself, but I don’t feel that anything exceptional happened, nor any message told through the story to make it a classic. The author also mentioned that the book had also been made into a television series. Maybe that would be worth watching to see if it helps to make any sense of this book, but I won’t be rushing into it.

For the lack of relatable characters, lack of major events happening and the fact that this book struggled to hold my attention for more than five minutes, it gets just one heart from me.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Genre: Fiction | LGBT | Contemporary | Romance

Pages: 388

Goodreads Amazon UK

Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

“Never let anyone make you feel ordinary.”

“I’m under absolutely no obligation to make sense to you.”

“Don’t ignore half of me so you can fit me into a box. Don’t do that.”

Evelyn Hugo, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo.

Let me just tell you, if you have not read this book yet, there is a very, very subtle twist towards the end of the book, which will only click in if you have been paying attention to every small detail throughout the story. This actually made me stop mid read for a couple of seconds while it sank in. I would never have seen that one coming!

Despite her arrogance and the fact that Evelyn knew just how irresistible she was to both men and women, I couldn’t help but like her. Although a lot of the time she seemed to be out for whatever she could get, she did it to better herself and the life that she had before moving to Hollywood. As the story unfolds and we learn more about Evelyn (both young and old) I couldn’t help but admire her character. Even when the twist drops, I still felt it impossible to dislike her.

As I was reading through this book, I thought that it was simply a story within a story, a rags to riches or a romance at best. But the author also managed to get in some other themes of society that were happening through the 1950’s to 1980’s, such as same sex & bi-racial relationships.

If you haven’t already picked up a copy of this book, I highly recommend you do so! It gets 4 hearts from me.

And So The Journey Begins!

And So The Journey Begins!

It’s been many years since I last wrote a blog/diary entry. I never knew what to write about, and at such a young age nothing exciting was going on in my life that I felt was worth writing down.

I’ve been an avid reader from a very young age, always preferring the escapism of books to tv shows or films. Although I’m not going to call myself a book reviewer (I don’t feel that I have the literary skills or knowledge to critique a piece of work that has actually made it to publication), this blog has been made with the intentions of sharing my adventures with whoever feels that they want to take the time to read.

These past couple of years, I have been participating in the yearly PopSugar Reading Challenges to keep my love of books alive, and to also encourage me to read books that I ordinarily would not even glance at. Once I have completed this years challenge, I will post my list here on this blog.

For each book that I read, whether it is part of my reading challenge or not, I will post it here and write up a little bit about it; what I enjoyed, how the storyline and characters made me feel. Should you happen to stumble upon this website by accident and enjoy what you read, feel free to kick back and follow me on my literary adventures.