Thursday, 30 June 2011

Currently Reading: Rich Girl, Poor Girl by Lesley Lokko

Nic, Caryn and Tory: three girls who form a friendship that should last a lifetime. Nic is the daughter of a white Zimbabwean business tycoon. Despite a life of jaw-dropping wealth and privilege, all she really wants is a bit of attention from daddy. Caryn never met her father - but growing up on a tough London sink estate, she had other things to worry about. Like getting out and moving on. Tory just yearns for some space to be herself. Living in the shadow of your dead sister is tough, particularly when she seemed to be everything you're not. Then beautiful, ruthless Estelle McKenzie appears on the scene. Estelle has a secret - and one way or another, she's going to make each woman pay a very high price for it. (via

Here we go with book number 3! I have no idea what to expect from this one as I've never read anything by Lesley Lokko before. But, 20 pages in, I'm enjoying it so far. It seems very elegantly written with lots of description, and four very different female characters (PLUS third person narrative - yes!) The front of the book says that the three girls are friends, but I've yet to find out how they're all connected, or what Estelle has in store for them. I'm certainly looking forward to finding out! So, without further ado...

Review: Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella

I really can't say that I enjoyed this book. As I mentioned in my previous post about Remember Me?, there is not a lead character in a novel by Sophie Kinsella that hasn't sounded unavoidably similar to lead characters in her other titles (that I've read so far). I'm no writer myself, but to me this presents itself as a pitfall of choosing to write multiple books in first-person narrative. If an author decides to write in this style, they have to be super careful not to, whether purposely or accidentally, make one character sound overly similar to a character in another book. This is why I think Sophie Kinsella has failed here.

I've read a number of her books - the Shopaholic series, Twenties Girl and now Remember Me?. Becky from the Shopaholic series is the exception (she has to sound the same in all 6 books because she's the same girl), the rest however need to sound completely different. But they don't. They all express themselves in the same way. Sophie Kinsella even follows the exact same blantant formula with each storyline; again I appreciate that the Shopaholic books can and need to sound similar, but do Twenties Girl and Remember Me? need to as well? It's basically this: all of them have families with some notably eccentric members, troublesome love lives and are career focused, and the story leads them through turbulance that eventually, by the end of the book, gets solved by some cunning plan and the girl ends up with the right guy.

While I appreciate that it's difficult to come up with new material sometimes, I really believe that if a writer is so adamant on not altering their style, they should write their books in third-person narrative. Then, the source of the character is solely their own voice, and they don't need to worry about making each book sound different because they are the sole storyteller. Am I making any sense?

Anyway, overall I was dissapointed. Lexi is this girl who gets into a car crash, bangs her head and loses 3 years of her memory. She wakes up and doesn't recognise her life at all - everything is different in this 'future world'. So we follow her as she tries to solve what happened to herself during these lost years that made her so different and unrecognisable. I think if this was your first Sophie Kinsella book, or if you don't mind reading about similar characters, you would enjoy this book more than I did. But if this isn't and you don't, you are going to probably find it pretty monotonous. While the plot is somewhat creative, it is a very predictable story.

I'd really like to know your thoughts. Have you read an author who, like Sophie Kinsella, doesn't distinguish different characters or storylines? How do you feel about the use of first-person narrative in novels?

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Currently Reading: Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella

Lexi wakes up in a hospital bed after a car accident, thinking it’s 2004 and she’s a twenty-five-year old with crooked teeth and a disastrous love life.But, to her disbelief, she learns it’s actually 2007 – she’s twenty-eight, her teeth are straight, she’s the boss of her department – and she’s married! To a good-looking millionaire! How on earth did she land the dream life??!

She can’t believe her luck – especially when she sees her stunning new home. She’s sure she’ll have a fantastic marriage once she gets to know her husband again. He’s drawn up a ‘manual of our marriage’, which should help.

But as she learns more about her new self, chinks start to appear in the perfect life. All her old colleagues hate her. A rival is after her job. Then a dishevelled, sexy guy turns up… and lands a new bombshell. What the **** happened to her? Will she ever remember? And what will happen if she does? (via

I've got an assignment due in a couple of weeks which is going to be taking up the bulk of my time, so I thought I would pick a fun, straightforward book to read next. So I present you with Remember Me? by the one and only Sophie Kinsella!

Although I do absolutely love the Shopaholic series and enjoyed Twenties Girl, I can't help but notice the similarities between Lara, Becky and, as I read through, Lexi (the protagonist in Remember Me?). I'll point these out when I go on to review. Even only being 38 pages in I can already see some resemblances.

Anyway, only perusal will tell. Enjoy your week, everyone!

Review: Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

It’s easy to see why Treasure Island is such a classic. The story is jam-packed with action, curious characters, and beautiful, flawless descriptions. Stevenson literally leaves no stone unturned in describing the island and these characters so that your mind can be utterly transported.

I thought the plot was fast paced for a book of its time. As far as my knowledge and opinion stretch, stories written within the 19th century usually evolve slower than this one seems to, but I could be completely naïve thinking that. Anyway, this pleased me because as much as I love the classics, I do find it a bit monotonous at times to go through pages of descriptions and conversations without anything really explosive happening. Well, Treasure Island truly is a full-on adventure from beginning to end; something new happens whenever a page is turned.

And the characters? What can I say apart from that they are all pretty extraordinary. I loved reading/hearing all the 'shiver me timbers', 'pieces of eight', and the talk of pirates completely drunk on rum! If I had to pick a favourite character, I would have to say Long John Silver, even though I couldn't figure his shifting personality out (which is probably how the author intended it in the first place).

I would definitely recommend Treasure Island to you if you love a book with some diverse characters and first class adventure. And I would especially encourage you to read it if you’re a fan of the Pirates of the Caribbean series. It’s obvious that the creative staff working on those films (and the Disneyland ride) took a bunch of inspiration from Treasure Island – I found it pretty entertaining as I read on of how many parallels there seem to be! But I won’t point out the particulars just in case I spoil something for somebody out there!
Overall, an extremely enjoyable read. I'm very glad that I finally got around to reading this classic!

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Blog update

So many changes and developments have happened the past few days! Firstly, a big hello and thank you to all my new followers! I hope you enjoy reading what I have to say here. I'm certainly going to try my best to keep life between pages fresh and interesting for you. 

You may have noticed some cosmetic changes to the blog. This'll be the last time I re-design the layout. Well, at least for a while! I've tried to make it as simple, light and inviting as possible so you guys can navigate around quickly and perhaps enjoy the blog more.

I've also decided to hold a giveaway when I reach 100 followers. So please tell your friends to visit and subscribe! :-))

Lastly, there is now a Twitter page for life between pages which you can follow here: @lifebetween
That's all for now. Back to Treasure Island!

Monday, 20 June 2011

Currently Reading: Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

When young Jim Hawkins discovers a treasure map in a pirate’s chest in his parents’ inn, he is drawn into a world of danger and adventure. He joins the crew setting sail to the Caribbean to seek out the booty and over the course of the voyage confronts mutiny, murder and the charismatic and devious Long John Silver.

Indeed, first up is the high seas pirate adventure novel Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson!

I'm already part-way through the story, so I thought it would be perfect to just keep going and make this my first official book for this blog! Being a fan of pirate films and other swash-buckling outlets, I have been excited to read this legendary story. I must admit though that the first thing that drew me towards it was the pretty cover! Yup, I'm one of those readers who can be swayed by artwork. But can you blame me? Vintage use such beautiful and inspiring covers to draw in readers. I'm glad to see their range expanding within bookshops.

Speaking of which, does anybody else desperately miss Borders bookstore? Trips to Oxford really aren't the same anymore without them! I spent hours in there browsing the books and magazines while leisurely sipping a Starbucks vanilla latte. I mean, Waterstones are great, but to me they don't offer the same full experience that Borders did. Every time I walk past their former store location (that's now been turned into a massive Tescos Metro) I can't help but feel sad and overly nostalgic. This may seem dramatic, but it's like an old friend has left and can never come back, but nevertheless you still look for them in the crowd hoping to see their face! I was pretty attached to that store. Oh well... that's what a recession can do for you. Damn economic downturn.

But I digress. Treasure Island it is! Hoist the sails, me hearties!