J.K. Rowling: The Casual Vacancy

The Casual VacancyThe Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I picked the 2 stars because there are no 2,5. Because I’m not sure I liked it. Or maybe I don’t want to like it.

The characters, all trapped in their silly little lifes and drama nobody cares for are undeniably human and well written, but they annoyed me so much, that I wondered why I bothered reading on (and yes, annoying me as a reader might be intentional). I get it. Life is fucked, people are hypocrites and don’t I know it, I’ve been unemployed too. But not everyone is, in real life anyways, and taking out one person out of the equation might but doesn’t have to, tip the balance as much as Barry Fairbrother’s death did (let’s not get into speaking names, shall we) and yes, there’s Kay for instance, but still… Also, all the dieing is a bit too much. I don’t think it was necessary to get the point across, that people are biased, egoistic, caught up in their own lifes, fallible and often, suck.

And yet, it did affect me.

So, I honestly don’t know.

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David Mitchell: Cloud Atlas

Cloud AtlasCloud Atlas by David Mitchell
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The story is fragmented into substories. This is clever and entertaining…but not always. I struggled with some of them because I either confused the people as the story turned up again or I was simply not interested. The idea is good, the topic too, the humor my kind of humor but it didn’t impress me that much.

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John Green: Paper Towns

Paper TownsPaper Towns by John Green
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Reading the story made me sad. And afraid. And laugh. But mostly and for reasons I have to investigate I kept thinking how it is almost half my life ago that I was that age. And I think Margo is a sad, lost young woman. I hope she finds herself. Or a way to life to make herself happy.

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Christopher Paolini: Inheritance

Inheritance (The Inheritance Cycle, #4)Inheritance by Christopher Paolini
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Okay, I admit it, I got teary-eyed at the end. I did. Despite skipping most of Roran’s storyline. And some stuff. But, yes, I liked it. And I like that he wrapped it up all that well. I’m ready to move on and all is well.

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Jonathan Safran Foer: Extremely loud and incredibly close

Extremely Loud and Incredibly CloseExtremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am so in love. I loved the style it was written in. So original and so breathtaking. At times I was so sad, I couldn’t and didn’t want to continue but it never was sappy.

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Christopher Paolini: Brisingr

Brisingr  (The Inheritance Cycle, #3)Brisingr by Christopher Paolini
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This one started much much better and really had my attention. I also read through it quicker, which translates as me not labouring over it. Also, by now I know which passages to skip. E.g. It would have been enough for me to have Roran sum up his ‘adventures’ to Eragon over the wedding cake or something. No need to have them in such detail (and yes I know they are there to show character and mood, but honestly, I got it as Roran left Carvahall behind, I didn’t need his Conan-esque behaviour to be shown it all the detail).
But yes, better. More entertaining, but still too slow-paced for me.

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Christopher Paolini: Eldest

Eldest (The Inheritance Cycle, #2)Eldest by Christopher Paolini
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I still think that he drew too much on Tolkien’s characters (Beor Mountains, e.g.). It was also too much detail for me and therefore to slow paced. I did skip some paragraphs or only cross-read them. The end was gripping, yes, but to get there took time. Lots of time.

Also, those lovesick boys…*le sigh*…grow up and learn to deal with a no. I also think, that the author misses out on creating some stronger women. Why do the people in Carvahall treat women as grown-up children who need a man to take care of them and who don’t own anything except some cutlery and who, if they don’t own that, lose worth? Not a society I’d want to live in.

Moving on to book three. I shall finish the series.

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