Sorry this is a bit late – it’s been a busy week!
I felt like I was reading constantly in September and thought I’d finished loads of books, but turns out I didn’t actually read that many. Mostly I read children’s and YA, so really I should’ve got through a lot more!
1. Cogheart by Peter Bunzl.
Premise: The first steampunk I’ve ever read follows Lily, who is rocketed into a sinister world of mirror-eyed men when her father goes missing.
I liked the mixture of past and future in this book, and felt like it was very unique but since I’ve never read steampunk before, I can’t really know if that’s true. Cogheart was Children’s Book of the Month at Waterstones so I was excited to read it but it was underwhelming. The writing was good but didn’t grip me. The story was great but the characters were forced and uninspiring. I’d recommend it if you’re looking for a less traditional scifi but it wasn’t for me.
My Rating: 3/5
2. Madame Doubtfire by Anne Fine.
Premise: The inspiration for a certain film starring Robin Williams, Madame Doubtfire shows the difficulties children go through when their parents divorce. In order to spend more time with his children, Dad Daniel dresses up as an old lady and applies for the role of housekeeper to his ex-wife.
Anne Fine is a darn good writer. I read Flour Babies a month or so ago and was struck by her fun, snarky writing style. I never realised Mrs Doubtfire was based on a book and when I realised that book was by Anne Fine I was determined to read it.
There were a few differences from the film but I loved it nonetheless. Fine’s effortless humour was present and it was a good representation of what divorce can be like for the kids. I’d recommend this for teens, definitely.
My Rating: 4/5
3. Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty.
Premise: What the hell happened at that barbecue?
I always enjoy Moriarty’s books, so when I found signed copies of her new novel in Waterstones, I couldn’t resist. This story is very much about the slow reveal, which Moriarty excels in. It’s not my favourite of hers but I really enjoyed it.
My Rating: 4/5
4. Pretties by Scott Westerfeld.
Premise: In a world where everyone is operated on at the age of 16 to become beautiful, runaway Tally has come back from her camp with people who chose to remain ‘Ugly’ in order to find out more about the intentions behind the operation. However her brain has also been changed, and the other runaways must convince her that she didn’t always want to be this way.
I read Uglies, the first in this series, at school and I loved it, but I couldn’t get into Pretties afterwards. This time, though, I loved it. It’s not as good as Uglies and the Pretty-speak is extremely annoying, but all in all I thought it was a good continuation.
My Rating: 4/5
5. Specials by Scott Westerfeld.
Premise: The third in the Uglies series. Shae and Tally have undergone a second operation to become ‘Special’, their faces cruelly beautiful and their bodies primed for espionage.
My interest was beginning to fizzle halfway through this book. On the whole I thought the series was great, but the Pretty-speak was really getting to me now – I mean, they’re not Pretties anymore. They’re Specials, and the Specials we met in the first book would never have called each other ‘Zane-la’ and talked about being bubbly. The whole series made some interesting points, though, and if you’re looking for a great all-round dystopian series, I’d suggest this one.
(To be fair, I haven’t read Extras, but from what I understand that’s not part of the original series.)
My Rating: 3.5/5
6. Smoke by Dan Vyleta.
Premise: We enter a Victorian world where everyone’s sins come to life in the form of smoke rising from their bodies, and where the villains want to bottle the smoke and use it for their own means.
If you’d like to read my review, click here.
My Rating: 2/5