Saturday, 27 October 2012

Review: The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our StarsThe Fault in Our Stars by John Green
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was a little bit wary about reading this book as I was worried that it could be upsetting and a bit depressing as it is about a teenage girl with cancer. I need not have worried.

This book was my firsty foray into reading some of John Green's writing, and it definitely won't be my last! I was drawn into the story straight away and really loved the friendly writing style. In fact, I could barely put this down when I was reading it.

We follow the story of Hazel who is a 16 year old terminal cancer patient. She is convinced by her parents to join a support group to meet some fellow sufferers and give her chance to get out of the house. She meets a new friend in Isaac and subsequently meets his best friend Augustus. Hazel gets close with Augustus and they eventually start going out.

The book is very funny in parts and there are also parts that made me cry. It is wonderfully written and I especially liked the parts about Hazel's favourite book and going to meet the writer. A lot of the time you were able to forget that she was any different to other teenagers, until something popped up to remind you.

The book has a bittersweet ending, and I will warn you, don't read it in public, you may not want to be around people when you read it. The book is in no way depressing and leaves the reader wanting more. This book will stay with me for a long time and I would certainly recommend it to others to read.

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Review: Swimming Home

Swimming HomeSwimming Home by Deborah Levy
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this book, but felt that it lacked depth and in some parts I felt that the story didn't really make sense.

I would have liked the story to either have been even shorter to make it punchier or to be longer with more detail to ensure that the story was punchier. For me, I don't feel that it really works as it is. It seems that the book is trying to be something in particular and put a message across and unfortunately it doesn't quite cut it.

The story revolves around 9 main characters, although I felt that two of them were not entirely necessary to the story, particularly given it's length. All the way through the book, themes relating to mental health and depression are alluded to, although the illness that Kitty suffers from is clearly something more than depression. I feel like the book is sold to the reader on the fact that it is about mental health, but I don't think that it is particularly well dealt with in the book.

However, I did enjoy the story and it was a quick read and I liked the format and structure of the book. I'm not sure I would read anything else by the author, but am glad that I have read this book.

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