Image Map

Second Glance

09 April 2011

Hello everyone! I really did think I'd be posting more on this blog than I actually have, but it turns out that blogs take time and effort, and when I finish work I'm too tired. ANYWAY. I said that this week I would be reviewing 'Second Glance' by Jodi Picoult which I am going to. But first, I am going to give you all a quick rundown of the other books I've read this week.

Iron Crowned by Richelle Mead: This is the third book in a series of four (I think) about a shaman who happens to be the queen of a land in the otherworld. That did kind of happen by accident, but this book is about the struggles she encounters whilst trying to rule the kingdom fairly. overall, I thoroughly enjoyed it, a good addition to the series!
My Soul to Keep by Rachel Vincent: Once again this is also the third book in the series about banshees, or 'bean sidhes'. Its a young adult series and I have to say I'm finding it very enjoyable so far. The series has covered some complicated issues that every teen can relate to in a very subtle and decent manner. It could very easily become condescending but the tone is perfect and the characters are easily accessible and in places, hilarious.
Stray by Rachel Vincent: I know, I know, another Rachel Vincent! But she's just so damn good. This is the first book in Rachel Vincent's series about werecats. Now this is an adult series, so there's a lot more sexual references etc. which I dont mind in the slightest, but some might. The book is fast moving and the plot is fantastic! This author knows a thing or two about how to create a slimy enough bad guy that you can't wait to see him get his ass kicked. I loved every second of this book and I've already started the second one in the series!

Second Glance by Jodi Picoult
Right, back to business. I have to say that I started reading 'Second Glance' with an open mind. Sometimes I find Jodi Picoult's books to be a bit hit and miss. Her novels are always well written and well researched, but I find that sometimes something just doesn't add up. This particular novel though, was different from her usual works from the start. The main difference for me, is that this novel is essentially a ghost story. Normally, Picoult deals with issues that are very much about the living, whereas this novel is all about the dead, and those who wish to be reunited with them.
The novel follows the story of Ross, whose fiancee was killed in a car accident. Ross is finding life hard, he's tried to kill himself several times, and now he has decided to start ghost hunting. He starts by working for a TV programme (similar in my mind to 'Most Haunted') but then he hears about some strange happenings in Comtosook which is near where his sister lives. There is an ancient burial ground which protesters are trying to keep from being built on, with a ghosts help. He heads down there, only to meet Lia, who turns out to have some interesting and dark secrets of her own.
The book tends to alternate viewpoints throughout, and at one point its almost as if its broken off into a story within a story, which I actually really appreciated. It comes at just the right time to avoid being too confusing and answers any questions the reader may have been harbouring. The novel also covers some interesting topics, Eugenics for one, and Indian culture. Indian culture is not a topic that Picoult has shyed away from in any of her books. In fact it seems to be an almost comfortable theme in her work, and she writes about it fluently. The Eugenics side of the story is fascinating and I was very interested to read about the attitudes that people had in the 1920's and 30's. It was obviously a very dark period of time for those in Vermont, as bills were passed legalising the sterilisation of those deemed mentally unstable or unsuitable to society.

Once again, Picoult has managed to combine highly interesting topics with an extremely engaging and thrilling storyline that really capture the imagination of the reader. This is a book that I would readily recommend to anyone, and out of ten, I am going to have to give it a gorgeous 8!

Now as I said earlier, I am currently working my way through Rachel Vincent's werecat series. there are six books in total so I may not have anything interesting to review next week, but we'll see!

bai now :)


02 April 2011

Bloggy bloggy blog blog!
 I've toyed with the idea of blogs for a while now. I either feel bored with them after a while or I start to feel that no one really cares. Which is probably true, let's be honest. However! I have decided to start writing about books. I read an awful lot and would like to share my reading with you all, if you care. If you don't then thats fine, off you trot, find another bloggy blog.

I tend to read rather quickly, although I am trying to slow down because otherwise books seem to merge with each other and I end up thinking that I have read some interesting hybrid of supernatural romance with historical fiction. Someone should write that stuff. ANYHOO! I feel that my reviewing skills could do with some exercising, as I seem to be one of those "it was alright" people. It might turn out that I am a terrible reviewer, if so, I apologise.

The book I have most recently finished reading is 'The Shadow of Your Smile' by Mary Higgins Clark. I hadnt actually read anything by this author before, and was intrigued when this book was gifted to me on my birthday. New authors are always welcome into my harem of authory goodness and so I began reading almost straight away (I had to finish my other book off first naturally). BTW! PROBABLY GONNA BE SPOILERS ALL UP IN THIS JOINT.

I have to say I was slightly disappointed. The book itself has a seemingly interesting plot. Olivia Morrow is told by her doctor that she has 2 weeks to live, and she has a great big old secret that she doesn't know whether to share before she kicks the bucket, or keep to herself. Her cousin, Catherine had a baby just after becoming a nun. The father of said baby, was Alexander Gannon who became a world famous doctor and scientist, and also held medical patents. the patents are now bringing in a nice lump of money for Alexander's nephews, Greg and Peter. Peter is a big old dummy because he's pouring all this lovely cash into awful broadway productions (I know, right?) and Greg is running a financial company which is essentially fleecing every single one of his clients.
Now, back to the baby. The bubba was given up for adoption and has now grown up into lovely Monica Farrell who is a reasonably well-known paediatrician. Of course, shes the one who should be rolling around in all the lovely money that the Gannons are chucking about and Olivia knows this. So shes got a big old decision to make. But unfortunately shes a numpty and gets herself killed before she can tell the secret. Monica is then targeted in case she ever does find out. Hijinks ensue, you get the idea right?

It has the potential to be a really awesome story but I just couldnt get on with the authors style of writing. It's understandable that there are going to be a lot of characters in a book like this, all with different viewpoints, and I appreciate that it must be quite a challenge to a writer to try and represent them all. I liked that aspect of it, having a different character's view every chapter changes things around and keeps the storyline fresh. What I didn't like was the inner monologues. Inner monologues are HARD because everyone has a different way of thinking. I find that (and this may be just me) my thoughts dont tend to run along the lines of "oh I must do this and then I'll make sure to do this. I wonder if this is a possible thing BLAAAAAAAAAAA". It just seemed kind of stilted to me in places. Another issue was that I like my suspense to be suspensey. I like to be kept in the dark about the killers identity until the very end with a great big ol' climax and stuff. With this book, the killer is not immediately obvious, but pretty soon after that they are right there staring you in the face. Doing a little jig with "I'm a murderer" tattooed on thier forehead.

This book for me was spoilt by the ridiculous inner monologues and the lack of suspense. In places it is still an entertaining read, but I think I have been well and truly put off reading anything else by this author which is a shame. No new authory goodness for my harem, sadface! I think that out of 10, I would probably award this book 4. I feel kind of bad that my blog of reviews has had to start with a bad or at least, not good one, but you've gotta start somewhere right? The next book that I will be reviewing is Jodi Picoults 'Second Glance'.