16/01/2013

Book Review | Moranthology by Caitlin Moran

Title: Beautiful Creatures
Author: Caitlin Moran
Release Date: September 13th 2012
Publisher: Ebury Press
Genre: Humor, Non Fiction
Pages: 354
Find on goodreads

Summary

"In How To Be a Woman, I was limited to a single topic: women. Their hair, their shoes and their crushes on Aslan from The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe (which I KNOW to be universal).

‘However! In my new book Moranthology – as the title suggests – I am set free to tackle THE REST OF THE WORLD: Ghostbusters, Twitter, caffeine, panic attacks, Michael Jackson’s memorial service, being a middle-class marijuana addict, Doctor Who, binge-drinking, Downton Abbey, pandas, my own tragically early death, and my repeated failure to get anyone to adopt the nickname I have chosen for myself: ‘Puffin’."



My Thoughts
I knew instantly I'd love this book after reading Caitlin's marvel that was 'How to be a Woman'  last year. This woman is nothing short of HILARIOUS. Honestly I was laughing the whole way through this book! For those not familiar with Caitlin Moran she is a journalist and columnist for the Times newspaper in the UK, and this book which is so aptly named, is an anthology of her best columns from the past few years. (I believe the earliest is from 2009 but don't quote me on that!)
There have been a few negative reviews on this book based on the fact that this is not technically 'new' work (although there are paragraphs added before every article giving a bit of insight into what is to come) but a collection. This for people who are avid followers of her column would understandably come as a bit of a disappointment  however for those who aren't as familiar (myself included) of all of her past work this book is an absolute dream!
There isn't really much I can say on this book except for you must read it! Reading Caitlin's inspires you to want to write, it makes you notice so much more of the world around you and just how crazy it really is. Although I loved 'How to be a Woman' more this book is not far behind as a sheer work of brilliance! 

Rating

02/01/2013

Book Review | Looking for Alaska by John Green

Title: Looking for Alaska
Author: John Green
Release Date: March 3rd 2005
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Pages: 221
Find on goodreads

Summary
"Before. Miles "Pudge" Halter's whole existence has been one big nonevent, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave the "Great Perhaps" (Fran├žois Rabelais, poet) even more. Then he heads off to the sometimes crazy, possibly unstable, and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed-up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young, who is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart.
After. Nothing is ever the same."


My Thoughts

I read this March last year and it was my first experience reading John Green and I'm so glad this is the first one I chose to read! This book is now one of my favourite stand alone books of all time it’s just that good. Firstly John Green's writing style is just incredible, and it’s one of the first times I've enjoyed reading from a male narrator's perspective as I normally sway towards female characters.

Miles, a.k.a. ‘Pudge’, is a highly relatable character I think for both males and females; this is due to his initial 'new comer' status at the start of the novel. The other two ‘main’ characters in the story are the namesake Alaska and also Chip who is nicknamed ‘The Colonel’. Alaska is probably my favourite character of the novel, I love how carefree she is initially but as her character is developed her vulnerability really comes through. Her relationship with Pudge is for once I find in a contemporary book extremely realistic, it’s not just ‘insta-love’ but an actual development of feelings and the struggles of getting together.  The Colonel is a character that I didn’t think I would like at first as he seemed quite obnoxious and was a little bit mean but I really started to warm to him likewise as he seemed to start to warm to Pudge. The other characters in the book weren’t all as prominent as the main three but fit well into the flow of the book and also provided a lot of the comic relief.

As the titles of each chapter are named as a decreasing number of days ‘before’ and then near the end of the book, increasing number of days ‘after’, it’s quite clear initially that it is a countdown to an event, and by reading of the synopsis its quite a life changing moment. I really liked this aspect as I thought it was a unique twist on chapter titles, and also when reading it gives you an anxious feeling the lower the chapter numbers become as you know the big event is coming.

The plot was well paced and you continually wanted to read on, I think this is due to the skipping of time periods that highlighted the important parts of the characters life rather than a ‘day-to-day’ style.
I won’t delve much into the ‘after’ portion of the novel as I don’t want to include spoilers but the ending was probably my favourite part of the book. The last lines had my eyes watering with that kind of happy-sadness, as if I was myself going through the emotions of Pudge. 

Rating


This book will make you laugh, cry and inspire you. It is nothing if not memorable, a book you cannot forget