Sunday, 24 June 2012

Review on The Mortal Instruments #1 City of Bones

Clary is just an ordinary teenage girl living in Manhattan. That is until she meets Jace Wayland, a demon slayer, known as a Shadowhunter. After her mum goes missing, Clary slowly starts to learn the truth, that her mum was a Shadowhunter too, and that she must learn to see the Shadow world. Clary is in a race against time with Valentine, a Shadowhunter who had been believed to be dead, but is now back with a vengeance. Clary must reach the mortal cup, a special cup which allows the user to turn mundane children into Shadowhunters, before Valentine uses it to create his own army.

Even though a friend who I trust to give me good book recommendations told me to read this, I was a bit sceptical at first as the first thing I seen on my edition upon looking at the cover was a review by Stephenie Meyer. As I’m not a fan if the Twilight series, I was worried that this book would be full of sparkling vampires and werewolf boys who ripped their shirt off every five minutes. I was not disappointed however. The vampires did what vampires are meant to do and the werewolf clan were not portrayed as being sexy men. The plot itself was brilliant, with lots of twists and turns. Although some of the plot themes were obvious to me from the start, there was also a few that shocked me. The only bad thing I can say about it is it’s not completely original, as I was constantly comparing various plot themes to Star Wars and Harry Potter. With that said however it’s very rare to come across a completely original book nowadays, so overall it was a very good read, and I will definitely continue reading the rest of this series.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Review on 'The Night Circus'

                ‘The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there,                                                                    when yesterday it was not'

The night circus is different to other circus’. For one it opens with the sunset and closes with the sunrise. Another difference is that instead of the colourful themes you expect with a circus, this circus is completely in black and white, from the black and white striped tents to the performers costumes and the white bonfire that burns in the middle of the courtyard. However, it is not only a circus but an arena for an ongoing game between Marco and Celia. A battle against each other which has been going on since their childhood before they had even met each other. There can only be one winner, but will their love for each other have an effect on the outcome of the game?

The one thing that stands out about this novel is the beautiful imagery. From the description of the white bonfire to the intricate details of tents such as the ice garden, Morgenstern creates a fantastic description of the circus, making the reader feel as if they can see the fantastic tents and smell the scent of the caramel and popcorn. Such details such as the clock that stands at the entrance of the circus stay in the readers mind, making them wish they could visit this amazing circus. However the novels downfall is the plot itself, as although at the start of the novel the thought of Marco and Celia having to go against each other in a game of magic seems promising, it turns out to be a disappointment when you find out that instead of a physical battle, the battle is more to do with who can create the best tents for the circus. The fact that the reader is promised that only one will survive is also not true at the end of the novel. It can also be confusing at times, as the narrative is not linear, constantly switching between two different narratives and years until the two come together. It is worth a read simply for the imagery, but the plot is somewhat lacking.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Perks Of Being A Wallflower review

The Perks Of Being A Wallflower tells the story of a teenage boy named Charlie, who stands on the edges of life, observing but rarely participating. Charlie, who is starting his first year of high school narrates his story along the course of a year, through a series of letters to an anonymous receiver, who he refers to simply as “friend.”  Along the way he meets new friends, tries drugs for the first time, attends his first house party and remembers the truth about his awful past. 

I decided to read this book as I knew it was being turned into a movie soon, and I always like to read the book that a movie is based on first. Although I usually prefer adventure stories, I really enjoyed this book although there was no particular plot other than sharing the life of a teenage boy. The novel has many twists and turns, including both humour and angst. The book also deals with many themes that the majority of teenagers experience, such as alcohol, drugs, bullying and sex. Anyone who was not popular in high school is able to relate to Charlie, as before meeting Patrick and Sam, Charlie does not have any friends. Although he does make friends during the course of the novel, he continues to stay on the borders, learning secrets about his new friends but not sharing his thoughts. I thought Charlie was a likeable character, as although his friends have different opinions and personalities, he does not judge them. Steven Chbosky has done a brilliant job of getting inside the mind of a sixteen year old boy and presenting him to the reader in a very believable way.

My Rating: 4/5