Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Spring '15 Gut Reactions

I have read lots this season. Baby laptop went away for a longlonglong while and so abundant guilt-free reading happened instead.
 The pile looked like this, but in addition to those I also read

The Hive by Gill Hornby (Women’s)
Here’s looking at you by Mhairi McFarlane (Women’s)
Hold on Tight by Abbi Glines (NA)
You were mine by Abbi Glines (NA)
Existence by Abbi Glines (YA)
The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling) (Crime)
The Christmas bake off by Abby Clements (Women’s)
Her Last Breath by Linda Castillo (Crime)
The Dead Will Tell by Linda Castillo (Crime)
The Coldest Girl in Cold Town by Holly Black (YA)
The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black (YA)
What a Girl Wants by Lindsey Kelk (Women’s)
It Happened in Venice by Molly Hopkins (Women’s)

I’m finding that I am just not getting to the books on the e-reader. I managed just one of the three I’d planned and that was the novella. Poor, no? I guess I still love holding my books and my eyes aren’t impressed if I stare at a screen before trying to sleep. The e-reader books only really get a shot if I am waiting somewhere and use my phone to read. (LOVE that I always have a book to hand when out and about. I think that is my fave thing about e-readers.)

I was having a Women’s Fiction splurge, and it has been really helpful for my current story revisions, although having discovered Mhairi acFarlane, I do sometimes wonder if I should even bother. Some writers are just so good they make me consider packing everything away and relearning to crochet instead. For that Here’s Looking At You gets Book of the Season, but it was a close thing. Other contenders were The Hive and The Coldest Girl in Cold Town. The former is a fabulous look at mums in the school playground (aka my peers). Hornby has an exquisite way with tone and phrasing. The latter showed me that while I thought I was done with Vampire fiction, if done differently it still entertains. That and Holly Black rocks when it comes to anything supernatural.

Jenny Han’s We’ll always have summer was a satisfying end to the trilogy, which is always pleasing when you’ve invested the time.

Robert Galbraith’s Cormoran Strike books grabbed me, so I had to get hold of the sequel immediately. I do find myself thinking “Oooh JK” every time there are swear words, because they aren’t in the Harry Potter books. If you are on Twitter, then Rowling sometimes tweets between herself and her alter ego which is fun to follow.

Lindsey Kelk is an excellent Women’s Fiction writer. Her dialogue is brilliant; it’s funny and it bites, hence I had to get the sequel asap.

Other thoughts;
  One of these books left me thinking MEH. It couldn’t have been written in a more boring fashion. I had to check the Amazon reviews to see if it was just me. It wasn’t.
  One of these books showed me that a writer can definitely be better in one genre than another. The change of scene made this writer’s storytelling go flat.
  One of these books convinced me that I have to like my MC. The story was sound, but I just thought that she was a silly, daft, annoying bint and I wasn’t rooting for her as much as I might have been. Yes characters can and should be flawed, but I prefer the faults to get sloughed off over the arc of the story, not still be kicking about at the end. I’m not sure she learned very much.
  One of these author’s I am signing off now as I just find her style dull. (But it gives me some hope...)

Those were my gut reactions. The new pile should be up early next week.  

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