Book Review: The Miniaturist (Jessie Burton)

Details:Publisher: Picador
Pages: 424
Release Date: 1st January 2014
 
Blurb:

On an autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman arrives at a grand house in Amsterdam to begin her new life as the wife of wealthy merchant Johannes Brandt. Though curiously distant, he presents her with an extraordinary wedding gift; a cabinet-sized replica of their home. It is to be furnished by an elusive miniaturist, whose tiny creations ring eerily true.

 

As Nella uncovers the secrets of her new household, she realises the escalating dangers they face. The miniaturist seems to hold their fate in her hands – but does she plan to save or destroy them?

Review:

I’d heard a lot about this book before I started it (who hasn’t really, it’s been everywhere!) and thought I’d give it a go, though I don’t often read ‘adult’ books.At the beginning, I didn’t get on well with it. I’m going to blame it on the fact it’s an adult book and it just moved too slow for me. I feel that in YA, there’s always grabs for my attention and a quick pace to keep me interested, but here there was a very slow build, so much so that almost half way in I was sure I wasn’t going to like it.

It did pick up, however. I think as soon as the first revelation hit (no spoilers!) I became more invested in the story. Before that, I felt sorry for Nella, and awkward around Marin and Johannes, but little else. Once one secret was out though, they kept coming, and worried how the family would cope.

I loved Marin’s character the most: I thought there were so many deft little touches there that made her so human: so full of contradictions, mood swings and uncertainty. She was by far my favourite, although the others were by no means sub par.

Strangely, when I think about this book, the actual minituarist doesn’t come to mind very much. It was the thing that drew me to it at first: the idea of seeing one’s life carved out in miniatures that also seem to predict the future. But I felt this story line didn’t really live out its potential: I thought the miniaturist would be someone of more importance, perhaps someone we knew, and that the uncanny ability to predict what was happening and what would happen to the family would be explained, but it never was. I just wanted more from that story line.

This book definitely grew on me. I’d advise you to stick with it if, like me, you struggle at the beginning, as it definitely gets more intriguing. That said though, I don’t think it’s one I will be reading again.

My Verdict:

I enjoyed – give it a read

 

If you enjoyed this you might like The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Soundtrack Saturday: Steelheart (Brandon Sanderson)

 

Soundtrack Saturday is a weekly meme created and run by Erin at The Hardcover Lover. I’ve been really enjoying making these so am trying to make it a regular thing on my blog.

Last week I chose to make a soundtrack for The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury.

This week I decided to do one for Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson. I read this as part of my Random Reads feature, chosen by Stacie, and I just fell in love (in case you haven’t noticed, I’m aware I haven’t shut up about it for the last week!)

 

17727802The Ruler and the Killer – Kid Cudi


When I talk you should listen
All of you belong to me
Come on, we should get it going
Now what I want is specific
Respect what I have done for thee
The ruler and the killer baby.

 

Monster – Paramore


I’ll stop the whole world, I’ll stop the whole world
From turning into a monster, eating us alive
Don’t you ever wonder how we survive?
Well now that you’re gone, the world is ours.The World is Black – Good Charlotte


Living in this place it’s always been this way
There’s no one doing nothing so there’s nothing changed
And I can’t live when this world just keeps dying
People always tell me this is part of the plan
That God’s got everybody in his hands
But I can only pray that God is listening
Is he listening?

All or Nothing – We Are The In Crowd


In the moment we are living
Please don’t waste the chance we’re given this time
It could be gone in just a minute
So find your place within it
Slow down, we have common ground
Before you change your mind dont you want to try
To see all this through someone else’s eyes?

Hell and Back – Tonight Alive


It was the heaviest rain I ever felt on my skin
It was the heaviest place that I had ever been in
As the walls crashed down I felt it slip away
‘Cause I went to hell and back just to be where I am today.

Now – Paramore


Were we indestrcutible?
I thought that we could brave it all
I never thought that what would take me out
Was hiding down below
Lost the battle, win the war
I’m bringing my sinking ship back to the shore
Starting over, we’ll head back in
There’s a time and a place to die but this ain’t it

Hero – Måns Zelmerlöw



Don’t tell the gods I left a mess
I can’t undo what has been done
Let’s run for cover
What if I’m the only hero left?
You better fire off your gun
Once and forever
He said go dry your eyes
And live your life like there is no tomorrow, son.

 

 

#RandomReads May Discussion

For the final post in May’s Random Reads, I’m going to be chatting about this month’s two Random Reads books in a bit more detail.
Our theme for this month was the fantasy genre. I am a big reader of fantasy – it’s probably my favourite genre, although I have been trying to read a bit wider lately. The two books I read this month – Song Quest, as picked by me, and Steelheart, as picked by Stacie – are really different ends of the fantasy spectrum, but they both got me thinking about one thing in particular.
Female characters.
So that’s what I’m going to discuss today. Feel free to join in with your ideas in the comments – it’s always interesting to hear some different opinions.
Stacie and I differed a little in our opinion of the female protagonist in Song Quest (see her review here). I’ve always loved Rialle: I grew up dreaming of being like her, and on this read through as an adult, I still loved her.
But I do understand where Stacie and others views come from. Rialle isn’t really the kind of kick ass heroine we’ve come to expect from YA books today. She’s softly spoken, scared of standing up for herself and yes, she does spend a lot of the book being drugged or feeling sick or being someone’s prisoner.
And I do see all of that. I do. But I also see Rialle standing up for the half-creatures, even when she’s not brave enough to stand up for herself. She stays silent for so long, even when she’s kept in a cage like an animal, just to try and protect the Echorium and their Songs. And when all is lost, she’s willing to sacrifice everything to try and stop the Kizpriest in his plans, even if it means death to herself.
She might not be the kind of heroine we’re used to now, but I still think she’s brave and strong in her own way. She might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I will always defend Rialle.
And now on to Steelheart.
I’ve heard this described as a ‘boy’s book’ which irritated me greatly. I’m not a boy, and I enjoyed it. What makes it a boy’s book? I enjoyed the fact that it had superpowers and nerdy characters and car chases and cool weapons. None of that makes it a boy’s book to me.
It is a rather male-focussed book though. As mentioned in my review, the book is told from a male perspective, the majority of Epics seen and described are male, and the only female characters we really see are two of the Reckoners: Tia and Megan. Tia is the nerd and medic, and doesn’t play a huge role in the story.
Megan, on the other hand, is quite clearly love interest first, character second.
I don’t want to judge her too harshly, and I did like her as a character, especially some of the late developments (those of you who’ve read it will know what I’m talking about). But I felt like we saw her through David’s eyes, and in his eyes she was often a hot body before she felt like an actual person.
I felt this was a shame, because she was such an interesting character, and I know there were other things David liked about her, but too often he got distracted by how hot she looked, or how that was making him feel, and that irritated me.
That aside, (that was more a personal rant) Megan as a heroine was almost the direct opposite of Rialle. She was fierce, sometimes mean and she wandered into danger, not without care, but willingly at least. She saved David’s ass more than once (even when he didn’t realise it) and led some villains on one awesome motorcycle chase.
To me, Megan and Rialle are two very different type of heroines, but heroines they are, in their own way. I understand the need for girls who can stick up for themselves, for girls who don’t have weak characters or personalities that would have been classed as ‘girlie’ in the past. But I don’t think we should discourage characters who do cry, or feel afraid, or aren’t ‘feisty’ or ‘feiry’. Not everyone in the world is like that, and not being like that shouldn’t be seen as a bad point either. 

Diversity in books is a big pushing point at the moment, and I think this means the types of characters we have, as well as genders, race and sexual orientation.
See Stacie talk about Song Quest in more depth here.

Interview: Ravinder Randhawa + GIVEAWAY

Today on the blog we have Ravinder Randhawa, talking about her book Beauty and the Beast, diversity and writing YA.

 

There are so many diverse characters in Beauty and the Beast – how important do you think diversity is in fiction, particularly for young adults?
Fiction is this amazing human creation, which exists and yet doesn’t exist, which fabricates stories and yet tells the truth, which creates other worlds and yet illuminates ours. Therefore, whatever the story is, in whatever genre, time or universe, it’s ultimately rooted in our world and derives from our human experience. We’re not only the products of human experience but creators of it, therefore we have a responsibility to others and to the future to depict the world with honesty but also to depict a world which is capable of change and recognising our common humanity.
All my work is peopled by diverse characters because I find such a mix to be invigorating, stimulating and creative. I believe that diversity in fiction is crucial for young adults because they are our future, the future world-makers. Young adults are at the stage not only of ‘discovering’ the world but of an age to examine, ask significant questions about values, truth, morality and everyday human existence. Diversity adds to the richness of their world and contributes to the richness of their response to it. If we don’t give them diversity, they won’t know diversity.
Beauty and the Beast has a lot of characters conflicting with their upbringing or religion – do you feel it’s important to show these kinds of struggles to a young adult audience?
 
Yes, very important because it’s the pathway to developing an ethical conscience and ethical free-will, both of which are necessary to lead a fruitful and self-determining life. A life which is conscious of the rights and dignity of others, the value of culture and society.
I believe it’s crucial for young people to be able to doubt, ask questions, examine, and reject if necessary. Over hundreds of years societies have developed many ideas that are unjust, unfair and sometimes downright cruel. Young people should be the breath of fresh air, the ones who put such ideas under a microscope and decide for themselves whether they’re right or wrong.
Hari-Jan is such a chatty, open narrator – how did you find the voice for her?
She’s a bit crazy isn’t she? I do love her. How did the voice come? Honestly, I don’t know. It could just be that I see women as strong and intelligent, with a sense of fun and curiosity. In fact Punjabi women are known for their outspoken and feisty natures, and those are the kind of women I was surrounded by as I growing up. Perhaps she’s an amalgam of them, with her very own dash of recklessness and habit of putting her foot in it.
Do you see yourself in Hari-Jan’s character at all, or draw on any of your own experiences for her story?
 
That’s so difficult. Because there must be a great deal of me in there, but not in any way that’s planned or conscious. I wouldn’t have a main protagonist I didn’t like or wasn’t interested in. That’s not to say, they can’t have flaws, weaknesses, blind spots, etc, but intrinsically, they must be characters who’re dynamic, engage with the world and who evolve through the story. Characters that speak for me. Perhaps that’s the essence of it? A writer’s main character ‘says’ what the writer wants to say to the world about life, love or oranges.
Hari-Jan often charges into situations without really thinking of the consequences – do you think part of her friendship with Ghazala is that she balances her out/makes her think a little more?
Yes indeed. Ghazala, just by who she is, provides a different way of dealing with the world. What’s really important is that their friendship is one of equals; Ghazala is very much her own person and she’s not afraid to speak her mind to Hari-jan, or tell her off when necessary.
Ghazala’s attitudes and actions throughout the book were inspiring, especially the ways she dealt with the racist views of others. Have you ever found yourself in a similar situation, and how did you deal with it?
Racism is often there, under the surface of things, but equally a lot of work has been done to combat it. If I experience racism, I have to make a judgment about the person and the situation. Often, it comes out of people’s own unhappiness or difficulties in life, they want to have someone to blame. My response has to depend on who it is and what it is.
Beauty and the Beast has a really authentic feel due to its mix of Indian words in with the English. Do you feel like this could be a barrier to an only English speaking reader?
I don’t think it should be a barrier. Many reviewers found they could easily understand what the word meant from the context but some reviewers said it affected their enjoyment of the story. It was natural and important to use Indian words because that’s how it happens in real life, there’s a mixing and mingling of languages. I was at pains to ensure the context provided the meaning. As a reader, I too like to be able to understand everything. There’s also a glossary at the back, so if a reader is really stuck as to what a word might mean, they just have to flip to the back.
You’ve previously written for novels for adults – was it very challenging or different to write for a young adult audience?
I had written short stories for teenagers. In fact my first published piece of work was a short story in the anthology ‘There’s More to Life Than Mr Right.’ I might have started overthinking it, and wondering how far I could go, in terms of exploring themes and issues but I’d been given a pretty specific page limit by the publishers and a deadline. So I just plunged in – which was probably the best way of doing it.
And here are my quick fire questions to round off with:
What are you reading at the moment?
The Forgiveness Project: Stories for a Vengeful Age (rare for me to read a non-fiction book)
Favourite book as a child?
I can’t choose. I’m going to cheat: The Famous Five, Chalet School Stories, Little Women… etc etc.
Favourite writing drink and snack? 
Tea and spicy nibbles
5 desert island books? 
Pride and Prejudice. The Moonstone. Corinna Lang Goodbye. The Help. Shakespeare’s works (is that cheating again?)
Favourite place to read? 
Curled into a corner of the sofa.
Any hidden talents?
I wish
What fictional world would you love to live in?
One where women ruled: I’m sure it’d be more peaceful and happier.
Big thank you to Ravinder for taking the time to answer my questions in such detail – the comments on diversity are too perfect for words.
About Ravinder Randhawa

 

Displaying Ravi Photograph.JPG
Ravinder Randhawa is the acclaimed author of the novels Beauty and the Beast (YA), A Wicked Old Woman, The Tiger’s Smile and the short story collection Dynamite. She’s currently working on a trilogy: The Fire-Magician. Ravinder was a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Toynbee Hall, Queen Mary’s University, the University of London, and founded the Asian Women Writer’s Collective.
Ravinder was born in India, grew up in leafy Warwickshire, now lives in London and agrees with Samuel Johnson’s saying (though of course, in a gender non-specific way) ‘…if a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.’  Loves good coffee and really good thrillers.
Author Links
 
Books
 
Beauty and the Beast Cover

Beauty and the Beast

‘Problems? Confusions? Contradictions? I got them all and if you’ve got them, the FLAUNT them is my motto.’
Meet Harjinder (aka Hari-Jan): ‘A’ level student, supermarket worker and desperate hournalist. Feisty and impulsive, Hari-jan can’t refuse a dare and to make matters worse has fallen in love with the wrong boy. Her best friend Ghazala has taken to wearing the hijab and mentoring racists.
Can Hari-jan battle through the hurdles and win her man?
Can Ghazala work out how to do Good in her own way?

 

A sparkling, coming-of-age novel about life, love and friendship.
Dynamite Cover
Collection of short stories: Fun, feisty, tender and wry. Full of imagination and originality, stories of innocence and experience, British-Asianess and life’s haunting complexity. From kick-ass heroines to mysterious spacecraft; the heartache of first love to the inheritance of history; the echo of distant war zones to treacherous boyfriends; riots and violent murder.


Giveaway
As part of the blog tour, there is a giveaway going on throughout the week, with a chance to win one of three paperback copies of Dynamite. 
If you enjoyed this, you can find the other stops on Ravinder’s blog tour here:
RavinderBanner5

 

Book Review: The Memory Hit (Carla Spradbery)

 *I have been given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*
Publisher: Hodder Children’s Books
Pages: 352
Release Date: June 4th 2015
Summary (From Goodreads):
 
On New Year’s Eve, Jess’s life is unrecognizable: her best friend is in the hospital, her boyfriend is a cheater. A drug-dealing cheater it would seem, after finding a stash of Nostalgex in his bag.

 

Nostalgex: a drug that stimulates memory. In small doses, a person can remember the order of a deck of cards, or an entire revision guide read the day before an exam. In larger doses it allows the user detailed access to their past, almost like watching a DVD with the ability to pause a moment in time, to focus on previously unnoticed details and to see everything they’ve ever experienced with fresh eyes. As Leon, the local dealer, says ‘it’s like life, only better.’ What he fails to mention is that most memories are clouded by emotions. Even the most vivid memories can look very different when visited.

 

Across town Sam Cooper is in trouble. Again. This time, gagged and bound in the boot of a car. Getting on the wrong side of a drug dealer is never a good idea, but if he doesn’t make enough money to feed and clothe his sister, who will?
On New Year’s Day, Jess and Cooper’s worlds collide. They must put behind their differences and work together to look into their pasts to uncover a series of events that will lead them to know what really happened on that fateful New Year’s Eve. But what they find is that everything they had once believed to be true, turns out to be a lie …
Review:
I had to request this on NetGalley as soon as I saw what it was about. A drug than lets you relive memories? Colour me intrigued. I had no idea what it was really about other than that. Turns out it’s a bit of a mystery/crime novel with a bad ass (fictional) drug thrown in the mix to spice things up a bit.The crime and mystery element were interesting and drove the plot for the story, but my interest was really sparked every time the drug was used. It moved the plot along but also revealed a lot more about characters and relationships, in a really clever way.

I thought the characters all worked really well. Jess and Luke’s relationship was the most interesting to me, especially when she’s reflecting back on her memories of him. She’s a really strong, believable character, one that you can easily get behind. I also loved the back story that slowly came out about Leon, one of the ‘villains’ of the book (and I use quotation marks because it’s not always clear who’s ‘good’ and ‘bad’).

It really got me thinking about memories and the difference between what really happens and how we choose to remember it. Memories that should have been sweet turned bitter for the characters and, with their senses heightened by the drugs, they noticed things they hadn’t before: the tone of voice used here, a raised eyebrow there.

It’s a book that sang to me of regrets. Characters would watch times from their past and wonder why they didn’t just go along with what that person said or pay more attention when they were with someone. And that made me reflect on myself, how I might come across if I was watching myself, how it could look and sound differently to how I meant it to. It’s a book that really gets you thinking.

It also had me guessing right until the end. When the first clue to who the mysterious ‘Whiteface’ was came out, I was shocked and couldn’t have honestly said I saw it coming. When a twist came, I guessed it quickly, but then was proved wrong with another twist. It certainly kept me on my toes.

I did wonder at the very end whether, after losing so much as these characters do, I would be able to give up the drug that could let me relive those times. It’s such a different kind of addiction, a real emotional connection to those chemicals that I think would make it harder to give up than any other drug (thank goodness it’s not a real one!)

This is a real thrill of a book, with a different take on what can happen when young people get mixed up in drugs and crime, without being preachy and moralising. I can’t wait to see what Carla Spradbery has for us next!

My Verdict:
 
 
Ahaha I love this book, you should totally read it!If you enjoyed this, you may also like Sleepless by Lou Morgan

Top Five… Superhero Stories

 

Last week my #RandomReads book picked by Stacie was Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson, which I completely adored. So for this week’s Top 5 I’ve decided to write about my favourite superhero stories. I’ve said ‘stories’ as most are comic book arcs rather than novels.
5

The Dark Phoenix Saga
Chris Claremont, Dave Cockrum and John Byrne
This is a storyline that I remember from my childhood, watching the animated tv series. I later read the comics and saw the live action film (disappointing!) Jean Grey/The Phoenix have always been my favourite X-Men (with Rogue a close second) and this story of ultimate power and the struggle to deal with it is just perfect.
4


Animal Man
Grant Morrison
I studied the Grant Morrison run on Animal Man for university and found it fascinating. It’s full of moral issues like animal rights and vegetarianism, and also introduced me to metalepsis (the point of my uni essay) which was new to me, and these comics were the perfect way of learning about it and exploring the technique.
3


Civil War
Mark Millar and Steve McNiven
With the film coming out next year, Civil War is going to be a very talked about story. I love comic book crossover stories: it’s like having all your favourite things in one place, and Civil War is a brilliant one. I’m not always sure whose side I’m on, and I love seeing both sides of the arguement.


2

Marvel Zombies
Mark Millar and Greg Land
I know it’s a bit silly, but I adore the Marvel Zombies series. It’s another crossover one, and it’s such a fantastic idea: superheroes are stupidly powerful as it is, so with the zombie hunger there’s pretty much no stopping them. It’s fun to have a story from the villains point of view too.
1

Brandon Sanderson


Rather predictably, this takes the number one spot this week. I just completely adored this take on superpowers, the idea that those imbued with powers don’t always put on tights and go save the world, the idea that this kind of power can change you, and not in a good way. Once again, I heartily recommend this book!

Which superheroes do you love? Or which supervillains do you love to hate?

 

Book Review: The Falconer (Rachel Cotterill)

Details:Release Date: February 20th 2015
 
Blurb:

Roan wakes at the bottom of a mine shaft, badly bruised but lucky to be alive. He doesn’t remember how he got here, but as he’d just witnessed a suspicious death, he’s afraid someone is trying to cover their tracks. The only problem is, he can’t imagine who would have wanted to kill the young lady Arleigh.

The Falconer is a short story set in the world of the Twelve Baronies novels.

Review:

I downloaded this as a free short story. I’ve previously read Watersmeet, the first of the Twelve Baronies novel, which I enjoyed (link to the review is at the bottom of the page if you’re interested). This is only a short review, as it’s a very short story.This was a very quick read and told a fun short story of murder and investigation, all set in a medieval-esque fantasy world. If you’ve not read Watersmeet you might not understand a little of the alchemy hints that are dropped in, but you can still read and enjoy and understand the larger plot. And if you have read it, you’ll enjoy taking another walk in this fantasy land.

It’s all very well written, with an intricately crafted world that feels very much alive and will leave you itching for more. I just felt it stumbled towards the end a little, and that the climax could have been made a little more tense by witholding key information until the very last minute.

If you’re looking for a quick dip in a well crafted fantasy world then this is a great place to start. The plot is well resolved by the end, but with the feeling that it could go on to greater (by which I mean a full lenght stoty!) things. I’d love to read more of these characters and I look forward to the next Twelve Baronies story.

My Verdict:

I enjoyed – give it a read

If you enjoyed this you might like Watersmeet, also by Rachel Cotterill

Book Review: The Devil’s Footsteps (E. E. Richardson)

 

Details:Publisher: Bodley Head
Pages: 288
Release Date: 3rd March 2005
 
Blurb:

It was just a game, a test of bravery; the devil’s footsteps, thirteen stepping stones and whichever one you stepped on would tell you how you would die. Yes, just a game like a skipping rhyme, and nobody ever died from a skipping rhyme. But it’s not a game to Bryan. He knows the truth. He’s seen the Dark Man, because the Dark Man took his brother five years ago. He’s tried to tell himself again and again that it was his imagination, that the Devil’s footsteps are just stones and the Dark Man didn’t take Adam when he reached the thirteenth step. But what does it matter if people believe in the legend or not. Adam’s still gone and now it’s time Bryan proved how.

Review:

This is a book I picked up at Astley Book Farm a couple of weeks ago. It’s one I read many years back (borrowed from a friend, I think) but I couldn’t remember what I thought about it.When I started the creepy rhyme, a lot of it came flooding back.

 

one in fire, two in blood, 
three in storm and four in flood, 
five in anger, six in hate, 
seven fear and evil eight,
nine in sorrow, ten in pain,
eleven death, twelve life again,
thirteen steps to the dark man’s door,
won’t be turning back no more…
Chilling, right? It reminds me of the rhyme from the Nightmare on Elm Street series (which I watched far too young and was forever terrified of) and I find it really evocative.
Unfortunately, that was the creepiest part of the book for me. While I enjoyed the story, it didn’t have the tense atmosphere or scary anticipation that I’ve felt with other horror books I’ve read lately. I just wanted a little more from it.
The story is quite emotionally tense, with missing children in abundance and none of the adults apparently noticing the pattern or trying to do anything about it. Bryan’s own situation is particularly sad, with his parents wandering around like zombies since his brothers disappearance, and him drowning in his own grief and guilt.
The story follows quite a standard format: a triggering event, an investigation, a revelation and a showdown. I was a little disappointed with the way the revelation came about: it all felt a bit easy and rushed. The showdown started great, with Bryan having to face the Devil’s Footsteps and the different trials each brings, and I loved the choice he had to make with step twelve. But the actual showdown with the Dark Man fell flat for me. There was a bit too much reliance on conversation and the power of belief, which I didn’t enjoy.
Overall, this is an intersting read with potential, perhaps not as scary as it could be, but it has the bones of a good horror story. I’d like to read some more of Richardson’s titles and see how they compare.

 

My Verdict:

I enjoyed – give it a read

If you enjoyed this you might like Flesh and Blood by Simon Cheshire

Soundtrack Saturday: The Sin Eater’s Daughter (Melinda Salisbury)

 

Soundtrack Saturday is a weekly meme created and run by Erin at The Hardcover Lover. I’ve been really enjoying making these so am trying to make it a regular thing on my blog.

Last week I chose to make a soundtrack for Seed by Lisa Heathfield.

This week I decided to do one for The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury. This was released earlier this year and I fell in love as soon as I saw the cover. Then I read it and fell in love with it all over again.

 

21936988Poison and Wine – The Civil Wars


You only know what I want you to
I know everything you don’t want me to
Your mouth is posion
Your mouth is wine
You think your dreams are the same as mine

Separate – Meg and Dia


There are times when I’m feeling like I’ve lost all control
And I’m talking ’bout a year or more
And I remember when I was a kid and it was simple
I couldn’t ask for me
And I was heading down the straight and narrow
When the Devil pulled me in by my elbow
He gently removed my blindfold
I said, “Don’t show me more.”

Paper Forest – Emmy the Great


You’re not unlucky, you’re just not very smart
These things will never leave you, they’re as close as you can get
To a blueprint for the future – but you can call it fate
It’s like these days I have to write down almost every thought I’ve held,
So scared I am becoming of forgetting how it felt
And these fears they will unravel me one day
But still I am afraid

The Good in Me is Dead – Martyn Joseph


I woke shaking and thinking
About love that’s in the world
And if there’s a bigger picture
How it’s all obscene, absurd
So pass me that revolver
Pass me a book I read
Pass me a fresh cut flower, sir
Ask me what I dread
That the good in me is dead

Night Still Comes – Neko Case


There are so many tools that are made for my hands
But the tide smashes all my best laid plans to sand
And there’s always someone to say it’s easy for me
But I revenge myself all over myself
There’s nothing you can say to me

Catch Me – Demi Lovato


Before I fall too fast
Kiss me quick but make it last
So I can see how badly this will hurt me when you say goodbye
Keep it sweet
Keep it slow
Let the future pass and don’t let go
But tonight I could fall too soon under this beautiful moonlight

The Poison – The All American Rejects


I can be pensive
You can be so sure
You’ll be the poison
You’ll be the cure
I’m alone on the journey
I’m alive none the less
And when you do your very worst
It feels the best

Book Review: Fantastic Mr. Fox (Roald Dahl)

 

Details:Publisher: Puffin Books
Pages: 96
Release Date: 26th June 2013 (first published 1970)
 
Blurb:


The formidable adventures of Mr. Fox and his family as they try to outrun three farmers determined to catch them.

Review:

I’m never really sure if I’ve read Roald Dahl books or not – the ones I did were when I was very young and I can’t always remember them. I vaguely knew the story of this one so thought I must have, but also found myself getting it confused with The Magic Finger, so maybe not…This is a short read (so a short review) and not really one of my favourite Dahl stories. The feminist in me was annoyed that the female animals were too supposedly too weak or exhausted to go find food for themselves and their children, leaving the men to do it. Mr. Fox also didn’t always seem that fantastic to me: he felt a little mean sometimes – calling one of his kids a ‘twerp’ or mocking Badger for being honest.

I know the story is for children but it does feel a little basic. It still has his charm though – especially in the villains, which he has a knack for writing, and Quentin Blake’s illustrations bring them to life beautifully – but it doesn’t feel like one of his best to me.

My Verdict:

I enjoyed – give it a read

If you enjoyed this you might like James and the Giant Peach, also by Roald Dahl