Tuesday, 10 June 2014

The Brightest Star in the Sky (Marian Keyes)

Title: The Brightest Star in the Sky
Author: Marian Keyes
Published: 2009
Publisher: Penguin UK
Pages: 614
Source: Own copy
Genres: Contemporary Fiction / Chick Lit
Goodreads  |  Amazon.com

There's this thing that happens when you get pregnant where all of a sudden your energy levels decide to leave you to go on holiday and your concentration seems to have hitched a ride in the suitcase. This results in the need to re-evaluate your reading list and start choosing titles that require, well how do I put this diplomatically, a little less brain power.

As such I picked up The Brightest Star in the Sky by Marian Keyes. I love Keyes. Her books tend to have the best mix of low key chick-lit writing with themes that have a bit of substance thrown in for good measure. My favourite so far has been Anybody Out There and I would recommend it to anyone.

The Brightest Star in the Sky centers around a 'being' of some kind (explained later in the book) that comes down to 66 Star Street in Dublin and watches the residences in the building's 4 apartments. The book quickly jumps between the characters lives slowly interweaving the stories as time goes on. The chapters are quick enough and the characters interesting enough to keep the pages turning and I really enjoyed reading as the various plots unfolded. There was a lot of mystery surrounding the couple in the bottom flat but I did guess the mystery long before it was revealed within the pages.

I must admit I didn't enjoy the ending, things just didn't quite seem to round up in an interesting enough way and the 'being' stuff was a bit too much out of reality for me to buy into it. This meant that unfortunately the whole book was a bit more disappointing in the end even though I enjoyed the middle part so much.

Ultimately if you haven't read a Marian Keyes before I certainly wouldn't recommend starting with this one and there are a lot better books out there to read but if you're after an easy to read popular character fiction it's still worth the time.

Monday, 9 June 2014

When Will There Be Good News? (Kate Atkinson)

Title: When Will There Be Good News?
Author: Kate Atkinson
Published: 2008
Publisher: Doubleday
Pages: 352
Source: Found it
Genres: Mystery / Crime
Goodreads  |  Amazon.com

The most interesting thing about this book is how I came to have it. You see I collected this book from my local dump transfer station. Now before you start to judge me and think I go trifling through rubbish tips looking for books that's not quite how this story goes.

You see what happened was, I was at my local transfer station doing some recycling of old moving boxes like one does and I noticed a woman pitch over the side of the paper container a pile of books. Of course I was a little dumbfounded by this; there are plenty of charity shops and second hand stores that love to get a hold of books so I sidled over to take a look expecting them all to be ripped or disfigured in some way. To my surprise they were neither. In fact many of them were in pristine condition and many of them were titles released in the past few years.

Another woman as surprised as I was to see so many books just carelessly discarded asked the book dumper why she hadn't donated them. The response? "I didn't have time, I just need to get rid of them". Well my new transfer station pal and I decided the books still deserved a second chance and thankfully the transfer station attendants see this often enough that they have a policy of rescuing items like this wherever possible and donating them to a local charity shop. The three of us fished all the books back out of the container ready for a new home.

The attendant also gave us first pick and I had read many of them I did manage to grab this book I am reviewing today.

I have never read a Kate Atkinson book so didn't know what to expect. I'm also not a huge fan of the murder mystery / detective novel type genre but I like the odd one now and then. Considering this one starts off with a young girl witnessing the murder of her entire family I thought I might be in for a bit of a rough ride.

Thankfully it tames down a little after that and isn't quite as graphic. There are a number of subplots that all merge together and there are a lot of characters which meant it was a little hard to keep track of who was who, as the writing jumps around in the various chapters. I found myself reading for longer periods then I normally would just so I wouldn't lose track.

I did like the character of Reggie - a tough 16 year old orphan girl who looks like a child and who has a bit of a nasty brother. She was a pretty tough and resourceful kid and I liked reading her sections.

Overall it was an okay light read but certainly not a star of this genre due to excessive characters and distracting subplots but hey still worth rescuing from a dumpster!

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Disappearing Act

For those of you who have followed my blog semi-regularly you may have wondered what was the deal with my sudden disappearance and blogging silence? Yes I am still here, promise! It may take a little bit to get back into a regular habit of blogging but expect to see a bit more activity around here.

So what happened?! Well basically I had one of the busiest, craziest, emotionally charged and financially stressful years of my life! Why is that? Well in the past year my boyfriend and I bought a house, got married, had a honeymoon on the other side of the world and now we're having a baby! Say what?! Yep we're a bit nuts like that, but even for us holy moly it was a lot to cram into a year!!!

So please forgive my absence but I had very good reason to put my blogging on hold while other things took over my life. Of course things will never quite be back to normal now that two will be three before the end of the year but at least I now have a spare minute to read a book (in between my naps). And oh I can't wait!

See you all again soon xx