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Chocolat – Joanne Harris – Reading Challenge Recap

21 Nov

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Challenges – Ultimate Teen Book Guide – #5/691, Ultimate Teen Book Guide 2nd Edition – #6/782.

Series – Chocolat

  • Chocolat
  • The Lollypop Shoes
  • Peaches For Father Francis
  • The Strawberry Thief

The Link to my original review can be found here.

Synopsis – When an exotic stranger, Vianne Rocher, arrives in the French village of Lansquenet and opens a chocolate boutique directly opposite the church, Father Reynaud denounces her as a serious moral danger to his flock – especially as it is the beginning of Lent, the traditional season of self-denial. As passions flare and the conflict escalates, the whole community takes sides. Can the solemnity of the Church compare with the sinful pleasure of a chocolate truffle?

My Thoughts – I read this back in 2013 – I’ve linked my original review above incase anyone wants to read it and I can remember enjoying it a lot! I did buy the next in the series The Lollypop Shoes back then aswell but for some reason I havent read it yet. Currently its in one of my boxes of books that hopefully when we move again I can unpack but I will be reading it at some point!

Rating – I rated this 4/5

Recommendations

Ultimate Teen Book Guide – Blackberry Wine – Joanne Harris, Like Water for Chocolate – Laura Esquivel, Lucas – Kevin Brooks (Challenge Book), Eat, Pray, Love – Elizabeth Gilbert

Ultimate Teen Book Guide 2nd Edition – The Lollypop Shoes – Joanne Harris, Blackberry Wine – Joanne Harris, Like Water for Chocolate – Laura Esquivel, Lucas – Kevin Brooks (Challenge Book), The Food of Love – Anthony Capella

The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger *Reading Challenge Recap*

19 Nov

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Challenges – Ultimate Teen Book Guide #4/691, Ultimate Teen Book Guide 2nd Edition #5/782.

Link to my original review can be found here.

Synopsis – It’s Christmas and Holden Caulfield has just been expelled from yet another school. Fleeing the crooks at Pencey Prep, he pinballs around New York City seeking solace in fleeting encounters – shooting the bull with strangers in dive hotels, wandering alone round Central Park, getting beaten up by pimps and cut down by erstwhile girlfriends.

The city is beautiful and terrible, in all its neon loneliness and seedy glamour, its mingled sense of possibility and emptiness. Holden passes through it like a ghost, thinking always of his kid sister Phoebe, the only person who really understands him, and his determination to escape the phonies and find a life of true meaning.

The Catcher in the Rye is an all-time classic coming-of-age story: an elegy to teenage alienation, capturing the deeply human need for connection and the bewildering sense of loss as we leave childhood behind.

My Thoughts – I read this book back in 2010 and even now it sticks in my mind as a book I really didn’t enjoy. I wont go too deep into my thoughts about it as I’ve linked my original review above. I do sometimes struggle with ‘classic’ books that everyone raves about so maybe that’s why I didnt enjoy it!

Rating – 2/5

Recommendations

Ultimate Teen Book Guide – The Beet Fields – Gary Paulsen (Challenge Book), King Dork – Frank Portman (Challenge Book) Nine Stories – J. D. Salinger (Challenge Book)

Ultimate Teen Book Guide 2nd Edition. The Beet Fields – Gary Paulsen (Challenge Book), Billy Liar – Keith Waterhouse, For Esme – with Love and Squalor – J.D. Salinger (Challenge Book), Just in Case – Meg Rosoff (Challenge Book)

The Book Thief – Markus Zusak *Reading Challenge Recap*

18 Oct

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Challenge – #2/782 Ultimate Teen Book Guide 2nd Edition

Synopsis – 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier.
Liesel, a nine-year-old girl, is living with a foster family on Himmel Street. Her parents have been taken away to a concentration camp. Liesel steals books. This is her story and the story of the inhabitants of her street when the bombs begin to fall.

My Thoughts – I read this book back in 2014 and annoying can’t find my thoughts on it! I read this around the same time that the movie came out as I really wanted to watch the movie but wanted to read the book first! From what I remember – and the 5 Stars I’ve put on goodreads for it – it was a really enjoyable book – if you could call it that! I am really into books set during the Second World War and this book was not only set in this time period but was also about books – which is brilliant in my book!

Rating – 5/5 (According to Goodreads)

Recommendations 

Ultimate Teen Book Guide – The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas – John Boyne (Challenge Book), Number the Stars – Lois Lowry, Summer of my German Soldier – Bette Greene, I Am The Messenger – Markus Zusak (Challenge Book)

Ultimate Teen Book Guide 2nd Edition- Number the Stars – Lois Lowry, Summer of my German Soldier – Bette Green, I am the Messenger – Markus Zusak, Incantation – Alice Hoffman (Challenge Book)

Life of Pi – Yann Martel

5 Mar

Started – 16/2/13

Finished – 4/3/13

Format – Paperback Book

 

Challenges – Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge

1001 Books You Must Read

Ultimate Teen Book Guide Reading Challenge

501 Must Read Books

World Book Night Reading Challenge

 

Synopsis – One boy, one boat, one tiger …After the tragic sinking of a cargo ship, a solitary lifeboat remains bobbing on the wild, blue Pacific. The only survivors from the wreck are a sixteen year-old boy named Pi, a hyena, a zebra (with a broken leg), a female orang-utan and a 450-pound Royal Bengal tiger. The scene is set for one of the most extraordinary and best-loved works of fiction in recent years.

 

My Thoughts – I brought this book back in 2010 way before the movie was out and I wanted to read this as it was such a high profile book. Now I did really enjoy the story especially the ending part where Pi spoke to the officals and the whole story became clear.

This book is about Pi Patel who lives in a zoo in India. I really enjoyed his descriptions of the zoo and the animals especially. His family decide to move away to Canada and sell the zoo and some of the animals. The ship that they are travelling on sinks and Pi is a survivor along with a few animals who are injured, this includes the Begal Tiger, Richard Parker.

He is adrift from everyone for months and lives with the tiger in a small space. The only part i didnt really understand was when they found an island, i didnt really understand the significance of that.

This book is quite religious too, three different religions howevr i didnt find that this was too heavy or forced upon the reader.

I do want to see the film but I’m not sure if this will live up to such a good book. I really enjoyed the story and i can see why its on so many reading challenge lists.

Rating – 4/5

The Tenderness of Wolves – Stef Penney

15 Jan

Started – 7/1/13

Finished – 13/1/13

Format – Paperback Book

 

Synopsis – 1867, Canada: as winter tightens its grip on the isolated settlement of Dove River, a man is brutally murdered and a 17-year old boy disappears. Tracks leaving the dead man’s cabin head north towards the forest and the tundra beyond. In the wake of such violence, people are drawn to the township – journalists, Hudson’s Bay Company men, trappers, traders – but do they want to solve the crime or exploit it? One-by-one the assembled searchers set out from Dove River, pursuing the tracks across a desolate landscape home only to wild animals, madmen and fugitives, variously seeking a murderer, a son, two sisters missing for 17 years, a Native American culture, and a fortune in stolen furs before the snows settle and cover the tracks of the past for good. In an astonishingly assured debut Stef Penney deftly weaves adventure, suspense, revelation and humour into a story that is both panoramic historical romance and exhilarating thriller. Now reissued in an attractive new livery, The Tenderness of Wolves is one of the most widely liked and admired novels of the previous decade.

 

My Thoughts – I read this book as part of the January Reading Circle. I really liked the sound of this book especially as it has some Native American Culture in as this does fascinate me however i really did not enjoy this book.

 

This tells the story of Francis a young man who goes missing after a murder happens. People in the town are quick to point the finger at him due to his absence however his mother believes his innocence and sets off on a treck across snow covered wildness in search of her son and in search of the truth.

 

There are many simular characters in this book and i had great difficultly in remembering who was who and what was going on. There are also lots of sub plots that i really found difficult to understand and i also thought that these confused the plot a fair bit.

 

As the synopsis says ‘The Tenderness of Wolves is one of the most widely liked and admired novels of the previous decade.’ I think there must be something in my reading that doesnt appeal to the most liked books as i really couldnt get into this book which is a shame.

 

Rating – 2/5

Chocolat – Joanne Harris

7 Jan

Started – December 2012

Finished – 7th January 2013

Format – Paperback Book

Challenges – Ultimate Teen Book Guide Challenge.

World Book Night 2012 Longlist

Synopsis – When an exotic stranger, Vianne Rocher, arrives in the French village of Lansquenet and opens a chocolate boutique directly opposite the church, Father Reynaud denounces her as a serious moral danger to his flock – especially as it is the beginning of Lent, the traditional season of self-denial.

As passions flare and the conflict escalates, the whole community takes sides. Can the solemnity of the Church compare with the sinful pleasure of a chocolate truffle?

My Thoughts – I brought this book a couple of years back as its one of those books thats always talked about but id never read. This book is about Vianne Rocher and her daughter who move to a small village in France and set up a chocolate shop there. To start with she is met with some hardness from the locals but ends up really getting on with most of them. There is also Father Reynaud who is the local vicar who it transpires is not all that nice a person and is quite stuck in his ways.. Roux is a traveller, who in the film version of this book is played by Johnny Depp so i think i’ll have to have a look out for that now!

I really liked this book as it was told from two different perspectives, Vianne and Father Reynaud and they both have different views on the events that have happened. There is more to the story than just two people with different outlooks, for example good against evil, light against dark and magic against the church. I really liked the different themes in the book.

I also liked how you found out more about the characters as the book went on. It wasnt set in chronological order and i really liked how the information became more apparent as the book went on.

I really enjoyed this book and ive just found out its the first in a trilogy so im going to get the next book to put on my shelf soon.

Rating – 4/5

The Vanishing Act – Mette Jakobsen

14 Dec

Started – 5/12/12

Finished 11/12/12

Format – Paperback book

 

SynopsisThis is a story about a snow-covered island you won’t find on any map.

 

It’s the story of a girl, Minou. A year ago, her mother walked out into the rain and never came back.

 

It’s about a magician and a priest and a dog called No Name. It’s about a father’s endless hunt for the truth.

 

It’s about a dead boy who listens, and Minou’s search for her mother’s voice.

 

It’s a story of how even the most isolated places have their own secrets.

 

It’s a story you will never forget.

 

My Thoughts – This book was picked for the December reading circle and although i hadnt heard of it before i ended up really enjoying it.

 

This book is about a girl called Minou who lives on a tiny little island in the middle of nowhere. Hardly anyone knows of the island and they never get visitors. Minou lives with her father, who is mourning the loss of his wife that walked out on him one day.

 

One morning the body of a boy washes up on the beach and this changes the whole perpective of everyone that lives on the island. There is also Magician and Priest that live on the island and a dog called No Name. Its a very lonely place the island and i can understand why Minou’s mother wanted to leave and why she wasnt happy with her life.

 

The book is written quite poetically and it really drew me in with the writing style. I really liked the chaacter of Minou probably because she was the only character in the book with a proper name. I read the majority of this book in one sitting as i wanted to know what was going to happen and what all the answers were going to be.

 

This book is an enjoyable read, highly recommended.

 

Rating – 4/5