Friday, 4 September 2015
Thursday, 3 September 2015
The Silver Linings Playbook is a bittersweet look at mental illness, the end of a relationship, grieving and acceptance. (It also has remarkably little to do with the movie that was based on the book, but that is fodder for another post.)
Thirty-something Pat Peoples is returning to his parents home after a stint in a psychiatric hospital. He knows not how long he has been there, but he knows that for now he is not allowed to see or speak to his beloved ex-wife Nikki and that she will only take him back once he one, recovers from his illness and two, becomes all of the things that she wanted him to be. Much to the chagrin of his family and friends Pat does not heed their advice about letting go and moving on. Readers are drip fed information about what went wrong between Pat and Nikki (a woman who, for all intents and purposes sounds like a stuck up cow, but then again, the reader is supposed to be on Pat's side,) whilst seeing Pat move on with his life--even if he doesn't realise it. Central to the story is Tiffany, a young eccentric and slightly damaged widow who may just be the perfect person for Pat ...
I absolutely loved reading this one, even if it was a bit of emotional roller coaster. None of the characters are perfect, which seems to fit in with the novels message about acceptance. Pat's relationship with Nikki was quite troubling to read about and it would be quite interesting to read a novel written from her perspective to show her side of the story--was she really a selfish bitch who incited her mentally ill husband so that she could gain all of their assets, or was it a tragic and violent end to a relationship that had passed its expiry date? Why was she wearing Pat's scarf at the end of the book? (That one haunted me for a while.) But, as the title suggests, not everyone nor everything has a silver lining.
It also offers a great insight into how mental illness can be stigmatised and the experiences of people as they try to return to their everyday lives.
Although the novel is quite sad in places, I highly recommend this one.
Tuesday, 1 September 2015
Larrikin Aussie journalist Peter Clancy is back and this time around he's in London ... where he has found himself working for a gutter tabloid publication. It does not take long though before Clancy finds himself embroiled in a glitzy, scandalous journey where he's bedding the daughter of a famous rock star, whilst ghost writing the memoirs of a disgraced famous actress. And, of course, in the lives on London celebrities nothing is quite what it seems and there may be something more sinister afoot ...
Fans of TW Lawless earlier Peter Clancy novels can expect to be pleasantly surprised by the third novel in the series which, in my opinion, is easily the best of the lot. (It can also be read as a stand alone, so don't despair if you haven't read the previous novels.) It's difficult to write a review without spoilers, so I'll just say that I enjoyed this one--particularly the setting. TW Lawless writes well and the prose is quite addictive and kept me turning pages.
For extra fun, I also highly recommend checking out the official facebook page for Peter Clancy.
Monday, 31 August 2015
Saturday, 29 August 2015
How many readers and followers here are familiar with a site called Book Crossing? I had never heard of the site, until recently when, I arrived at my day job at the post office one Monday lunchtime and found a paperback sitting at my counter. Being a bit of a book person, I was keen to reunite the book with its owner and opened the front cover hoping that I might be able to find a name and a telephone number, or any other detail that would help me track down the owner. Instead, I found this:
|A travelling book. Cool!|
It turns out that Book Crossing is a massive site that promotes reading by asking its members to distribute books in unusual places. For people who find the books, the idea is to them read the book the book, log their journey at the site and share it along. This sounds like a lot of fun, and so after I've read this book (and reviewed it on here, of course,) I'll share it along ...
I was a little surprised to receive this quirky novel in the mail, one which seemed to be more middle grade than YA, but it proved to be a great deal of fun and I am glad that I read it, as it proved to be a an excellent and light hearted distraction while I recovered from a serious injury that I sustained earlier this year. The first in a series, The Potion Diaries is set in a world that is almost like ours, but with a few key differences, most notably that the world has been heavily reliant on potions and the art of potion making, though that is slowly dying out due to the manufacture of synthetic potions. The synthetic potions is something of a problem for our protagonist Samantha Kemi, who is an apprentice potion maker and set to take over the running of her small, family owned business one day. Then there is the smaller matter of her feelings for Zain, a young man who just also happens to be the son of the biggest synthetic potion maker in the kingdom. Anyway, things all come to a head when the princess swallows a love potion ... and falls for none other than her own reflection! The king calls on all the potion makers in the land to compete to find the antidote and Samantha soon finds herself on an unpredictable and exciting journey.
I loved this book for it's quirkiness and slightly ridiculous (but ultimately fun,) plot that should be a real winner with its intended audience and has enough their to keep YA and adult readers entertained as well.
Thank you to Simon and Schuster Australia for my reading copy.