Sunday, 1 June 2014

may wrap-up

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hi guys, today i have my may wrap-up for you! i didn't read as much as i wanted to in may considering i finished college on the 6th and had LOADS of free time, but i really enjoyed the books i did end up reading!

'mercury and me' by jim hutton (goodreads) - this is not a book you ever really see reviews of; it's an autobiography by jim hutton about his time being freddie mercury's lover. it's definitely the kind of thing you'd only enjoy if you love freddie and queen (although the other boys from queen were very rarely mentioned). although i loved reading about freddie, i felt like the book was focusing on all the wrong things. some chapters were just 20 pages of things they bought on shopping trips, just kind of showing how extravagant they all were, and i think it focused more on the luxury lifestyle freddie brought to jim than anything else. it kind of made it feel like the book was written for the wrong reasons; freddie was a really private guy and he would've hated some of the stuff jim put into that book, but i can see why jim wanted to share it. i didn't love it but, as a queen fan, it's just one of those books you have to read.

'the restaurant at the end of the universe' by douglas adams (goodreads) - this is the second book in the 'hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy' series; i read the first one in february and absolutely loved it so i bought the rest of the series to read. i can't really say anything about the actual plot because it is one of a series and i don't want to ruin it for any of you, but i will say that it is a scifi series about a group of people travelling around space after they come together by chance when earth is destroyed to build a highway. the main thing i love about this series is that the books are so funny. it reminds me of all the classic british tv shows like fawlty towers and monty python, i love it. to be honest though, i found this book a lot harder to read than the first book and it put me in a bit of a reading slump actually, i just wasn't interested in picking it up at all, which made me quite sad as i had loved the first book so much. because of that i'm not very excited about reading the next books in the series but i am very interested to see what my reading experience will be like and if getting back into the world we re-ignite my interest in the story.

'the bell jar' by sylvia plath (goodreads) - this is such a huge famous book and loved by so many of my friends that i can't believe it took me so long to read it! it's about a girls experience with her declining mental health and a stay in hospital to overcome it, and i found it to be very honest and realistic on that aspect. i did get slightly confused because i thought it was autobiographical and then a character called the narrator 'esther', but i think it is very heavily based on sylvia plath's own experiences. i loved the story and i particularly loved the first section of the book which is set in new york - i LOVE books about people travelling in new york! (if any of you have any recommendations of books that involve people studying in new york or travelling to new york then please comment them below!) i found it very easy to read and to follow for a book that might be considered a classic and i really loved her writing style, i'm very interested in reading some more of her work! i know she's written a lot of poetry so maybe it's a good excuse to delve into some poems.

'the turn of the screw' by henry james (goodreads) - 'the turn of the screw' is a really short horror story (very much like 'the woman in black') about a woman who gets a job teaching and caring for two children, but she starts to notice weird things going on in the house and seeing what she thinks might be ghosts stalking them. it's a classic, and you guys know how i feel about classics, so i did struggle through it a lot, especially for the first 50 or so pages. henry james didn't help me out at all though; i kind of felt like the book was more an exercise in long complicated sentences than an actual story, so a lot of the details were lost on me. i read a review on goodreads that said something like the book was like "words words words words plot point words words words ghosts words words words words is she crazy? words words words are they all crazy?" are so on, it was just so much language, i couldn't process it at all. when i finished the book and thought about the story in itself, it literally could've been told in about 10 pages if they'd just cut out all the nonsense. plus, i wasn't scared at all! for a horror story i think it's important not to confuse your reader so that they can experience the same fear as the narrator, but the narrator just rambled on about the apparently 'shocking' appearance of the ghosts, but they didn't get the shock across to me at all. so all in all, i didn't enjoy it that much.

'we were liars' by e. lockhart (goodreads) - i read 'we were liars' as part of the #liarsliveread with hot key books on twitter, which was actually really fun! i don't usually participate in readalongs or anything like that so it was a nice change. i don't want to say too much about this book because anything i say is going to give something important away, but i will say that i found that the story wasn't as exciting as i wanted it to be (i was amazed at the revelation in the last chapter though) but the manipulation and the untrustworthy narrator made the reading experience so unique and wonderful, i couldn't stop thinking about the book for days and days.

'the DUFF' by kody keplinger (goodreads) - 'the DUFF' is about a girl, and one day a guy comes up to her and tells her she's the 'DUFF/designated ugly fat friend' of her friendship group and it kind of revolves around how that effects her, but there's also lots of stuff going on with her family and her friends and school and crushes and so on. it's a totally fluffy contemporary but the protagonist is not at all what you'd expect - bianca's cynical, she's strong-headed, she doesn't believe in high-school romances, she's everything i've ever wanted in a contemporary female protagonist! it is a very easy, light read, and i could get through 100+ pages in less than an hour, but i enjoyed it so much. at the time, as well, i was in a bit of a reading slump so 'the DUFF' was exactly what i needed. also, one thing i really appreciated about this book is how frank and straight-forward it was about sex and relationships; it didn't gloss over the subject at all, which is always the right approach for YA.

'the program' by suzanne young (goodreads) - i won't say too much about this book because i wrote a full review on it which you can read here - but i LOVED IT! can't wait to read the next in the series!

thanks for reading guys! lots of exciting posts coming up soon so keep checking back! and please let me know what you read this month (or link your blog!) in the comments! x

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