Saturday, 30 July 2011

Review: Coffee At Little Angels by Nadine Rose Larter

Phillip, Sarah, Kaitlyn, Caleb, Maxine, Grant, Melanie and Josh grew up in a small town where they spent their high school years together as an inseparable clique. But high school has ended, and they are all living their own “grown up” lives, each under the impression that their group has basically come to an end. When Phillip dies in a hit and run accident, Kaitlyn summons the others to all come back home, forcing a reunion that no one is particularly interested in partaking in.

Coffee at Little Angels follows how each character deals with the death of a childhood friend while at the same time dealing with their own ignored demons after years of separation. Events unfold as the group tries to rekindle the friendship they once shared to honour the memory of a friend they will never see again. (via The Katalina Playroom)

This is the kind of story that anybody could relate to in one way or another. Each chapter is dedicated to the thoughts of one character, as they guide you through their perspective of the unfolding events. The alternation between these is clearly indicated, and they each have their own manner and voice, so you never get lost trying to figure out whose side of the story you're getting.

Though I felt that I couldn't fully relate to Coffee At Little Angels, having been fortunate enough to have not lost anyone that's ever been close to me yet (with the exception of some non-human family members), I could understand the tensions between these estranged friends. It's hard for them to see each other after so many years, especially as some parted under less than amiable terms. I can imagine that when you're back face-to-face under especially stressful circumstances, it would be near impossible not to resurface old feelings and unresolved issues. This is something that concerns me about my own future, when there's someone I must see again out of respect for another.

Overall, I felt that this was a good story with good intentions. There were parts of it that I thought could use some work and some characters who could've shared their perspectives more (Melanie in particular), but a valiant first novel from Nadine.

Rating: 3.5 / 5

If you would like to find out more about Nadine and Coffee At Little Angels, check out her guest post here.

Friday, 29 July 2011

Guest Post: Nadine Rose Larter – author of Coffee At Little Angels

A warm welcome to Nadine Rose Larter, my very first guest poster! She's here to talk about her debut novel, Coffee At Little Angels (review can be found here)...

Hi Book Lovers!

I must first thank Sophie for inviting me here to share a bit of my story. I am sure her kindness will not be overlooked by the cosmos

A bit about me...

My name is Nadine Rose Larter and I was born in a small South African town called Molteno, tucked between the mountains in the heart of the Karoo. After my last year of high school I moved with my family to the city of Port Elizabeth where I now live with my son, my fiancĂ©, and my two step children. I’m a bit of a free-spirit and have never been happy having a “day job”. I spend my days writing, or thinking about writing. Sometimes I do a bit of work. Usually I just write and call it work.

I have always been a writer. I started writing poems and short stories when I was little, and I have intermittently kept diaries since I was about nine years old. In the last two years I have started taking my writing more seriously and have made the decision to become a full-time author. I have no formal education, aside from a year of Literature and Creative Writing study, but I am constantly trying to grow as a writer. Sometimes being a wife and mom makes fitting it all in a little tough but I am learning how to juggle it all slowly.

Next month, my first novel, Coffee at Little Angels finally comes out in paperback. I have worked pretty hard to get it all to this place and though I’ve done it mostly on my own, I would never have coped without the help of some pretty damn incredible friends and family members.

A bit about my book and why you might like to read it...

I wrote Coffee at Little Angels after a high school friend of mine died in a car accident. I locked on to the idea that had he died just two or three years earlier his death would have been even more excruciating to deal with. I was devastated by the loss of course. This was the boy who gave me my first kiss. He was a sweetheart with blue eyes and a beautiful smile. And he is missed by many. Including myself. my case I don’t always miss him as though he is dead. I simply miss him as someone I haven’t seen in a while. Someone who I would love to catch up with sometime, should we be fortunate enough to bump into each other in the street. It often feels simply as if we no longer live in the same town.

I tried to write this book in a way that just about anyone can relate to it. It’s not aimed at any specific demographic and was not designed to carry across any specific message or agenda. You may notice that there are few proper nouns in this novel. There are no last names or town names. I didn’t forget to put them in. I left them out because I hope that Coffee at Little Angels will be the kind of novel that absolutely anyone can pick up and feel like they understand it. I hope that you will pick it up and feel like it could be about you.  Other than that, Coffee at Little Angels is just a book. I do hope you like it, but if you don’t, I will simply try harder with the next one.

Download a sample chapter here:
Buy the ebook here:

Ebook will also soon be available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBookstore and Sony Readerstore.

Other ongoing projects...

One of my biggest writing loves is an internet project I created called The Poetry Project. Basically The Poetry Project is a project where South African poets and photographers get together to express their works symbiotically. Through this project I have met some of the most incredible people in this country and it has truly been such a blessing to get to know these people. I have taken a giant break from The Poetry Project over the last couple of months because I have been so focused on getting my book out, but I will soon be reviving the project and injecting new life into it, with the help of some old friends and hopefully some new ones too.  Once the first Poetry Project book is out I am even considering making it an international project because I think the comparison between different countries and different styles of writing and taking pictures could prove to be quite interesting.

For more information visit The Poetry Project online:

Otherwise my second home is The Katalina Playroom. Here I share my love for literature and writing. I do blog challenges and pretty much indulge in whatever takes my fancy at any particular moment. I like to think that it is a place where you can find some good inspiration as a writer.

Other contact info:

Follow me on twitter: @Nayes1982 & @KatalinaBooks
Say hi on Facebook:

Thank you again for having me here today. I wish you all day of happy surprises!

Follow Friday – #5

This week's featured blogs are

Welcome to my 5th Follow Friday! Here's this week's question:

Let's step away from books for a second and get personal. What T-Shirt slogan best describes you? 

I had to go on a major witch hunt to track down a slogan, but I'd say that this one fits me pretty well being an '80s baby! Short, sweet and to the point!

Thanks for stopping by, guys! What would your t-shirt say?
Be sure to enter my 100 follower giveaway while you're here and check out the blog's new Facebook page!

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Review: Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

In her early thirties, Elizabeth Gilbert had everything a modern American woman was supposed to want--husband, country home, successful career--but instead of feeling happy and fulfilled, she felt consumed by panic and confusion. This wise and rapturous book is the story of how she left behind all these outward marks of success, and of what she found in their place. Following a divorce and a crushing depression, Gilbert set out to examine three different aspects of her nature, set against the backdrop of three different cultures: pleasure in Italy, devotion in India, and on the Indonesian island of Bali, a balance between worldly enjoyment and divine transcendence. (via Goodreads)

I hadn't heard of Eat Pray Love before the film publicity started up. Then me and my cousin both bought copies of the book, but neither of us got around to finishing it. So, after leaving it lying on the shelf for the past year, it was definitely time to stop staring at it and pick it up!

 The book is split into three different sections, each based in a different location and each serving essentially a different purpose on Elizabeth's path to happiness and acceptance. Hence the title Eat Pray Love -- eat in Italy, pray in India, and love in Indonesia.

Eat was definitely my favourite part of the book, as it resembles myself the most. I absolutely love to travel and indulge while I'm doing so, and this entertaining account of her time in Italy eating everything in sight, studying the language and experiencing the culture very much appealed to me. Now I am desperate to visit Italy myself and get caught up in it all!

Pray and Love are interesting and uplifting, and provide great insight into Elizabeth's mind and her journey, but they didn't appeal to me as much as Eat. These two parts are largely based on spirituality, and so if you're unsure or aren't 'into' that type of thing, then you might not enjoy this all that much. They aren't oriented towards any specific religion and nor do they preach to you in any way, but Elizabeth does talk a lot about meditation, yoga, and other different types of spiritual practice. But, with this aside you do also find out a lot about Indian and Balinese culture and the people she meets along the way, as she does go into fun detail about these.

I would recommend this book to you if you're interested in world culture, spirituality or are perhaps are seeking a little comfort, insight and inspiration. Though I could've done without some of the lengthy explanations and descriptions, I definitely got something out of Eat Pray Love (I've taken down numerous page numbers and quotes incase I need them later!)

RATING: 4 / 5

* Ratings are new!

Monday, 25 July 2011

Blog now has a Facebook page!

Calling all followers! I've just made a Facebook page for the blog and it's in need of a few likes!  Please go right ahead and like it by clicking here, or use the Facebook widget on the sidebar.

Thanks everyone! And don't forget to enter the 100 follower giveaway. :-))

A Bit Of A Book Haul!

In the month and a bit since starting this blog, I've gone a bit used book buying crazy. Although, as I piled them all up for this post I kind of thought that there weren't all that many! Perhaps this reaction is just a measurement of my book obsession? Take a look. Does it seem like a lot to you?

Okay, so they look pretty impressive piled up like that, but let me break it down for you. Here's what I got...

These hardbacks I got in various places. The Buffy The Vampire Slayer Yearbook was a mandatory buy, seeing as I'm a huge fan of that show and it was only £1.50! The Amazing Maurice by Terry Prachett was a mere 50p at a car boot sale, and The Roots Of Betrayal by James Forrester is the only brand new book I've aquired (won from Mel's blog giveaway).

The books in these next two images were also from a car boot sale, and they only cost 10p each! They had heaps, but these were the only ones that appealed to me.

Okay, so yes -- two children's books. I can't be the only person with no kids who buys these from time to time, right? Kipper is so adorable & Little Red Fox just looked like a sweet story!

I've read some Bill Bryson in the past, and he's pretty hilarious. Lorna Doone was just a random book I kind of liked the look of, and as for The Railway Children... well, there's another classic I haven't read yet!

This gem was aquired from an amazing shop in Oxford called Arcadia, who sell tons of these iconic Penguin books (among many other things -- not just books. I'll show you someday on another post.) It cost me £5.00, but is a 1939 edition. Then again they did have cheaper titles, so I'm not sure what my logic was there! Nah well.

This lot I've gotten from various charity shops for some bargainous prices (of course!) I've wanted to read Girl With A Pearl Earring for a long time, but have never been able to bring myself to pay full price for it or order it online for some reason! Glad I found it in Oxfam, unread, for £2! The rest of them -- Tolkien (determined to read all his works), Robinson Crusoe (loved Treasure Island so will probably love this), etc., etc., etc.!

You get the point -- I won't say any more! Ha. What do you think? Too much?

How many books have you bought this month?

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Closed for entries | The 100 Follower Giveaway is here!

A big shoutout to Books Ahoy for being my 100th follower!

And to thank all you awesome folk for reading my blog,

Good luck guys, and be sure to tell your friends! :-D

Friday, 22 July 2011

Follow Friday – #4

This week's featured blogs
We Fancy Books
A Novella's Tale

Hello fellow hoppers and yay for my fourth week joining the Book Blog Follow Friday, hosted by Parajunkee & AlisonCanRead

My blog is nearly at 100 followers! You can be sure that when it reaches that epic number, there'll be a suuweet international giveaway! So stop by, pull up a seat, follow me, I'll follow you and we'll all live happily ever after!

Here's this week's question:

Name 3 authors that you would love to sit down and spend an hour or a meal with just talking about either their books or get advice on writing from?

My answer is going to be slightly predictable if you've been reading my blog, haha. But here they are...

Jane Austen - I'd want to know right away about what happens to Elizabeth and Mr Darcy, and all the other characters after the end of Pride and Prejudice! I know that there are many sequels by other authors out there, but they just don't satisfy me because they're not Jane's words and therefore, not her thoughts. You know what I mean? I'd want to know the true story.

Sophie Kinsella - I want to ask her why the lead characters in her books are essentially the same, because even though I enjoy them, it annoys me. But I'd be nice. ;-)

J.R.R. Tolkien - There is so much I would ask him, but first I might request an extensive lesson in Elvish. Would be awesome to speak a language few understand! Ha.

So there you have it guys!

Which authors would you choose?

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Review: Alice's Adventures In Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Bored on a hot afternoon, Alice follows a White Rabbit down a rabbit-hole – without giving a thought about how she might get out. And so she tumbles into Wonderland: where animals answer back, a baby turns into a pig, time stands still at a disorderly tea party, croquet is played with hedgehogs and flamingos, and the Mock Turtle and Gryphon dance the Lobster Quadrille. In a land in which nothing is as it seems and cakes, potions and mushrooms can make her shrink to ten inches or grow to the size of a house, will Alice be able to find her way home again? (via

Everyone is familiar with Alice's Adventures In Wonderland, whether they've encountered it by watching, listening or by reading. I admit this is actually the first time I've read the book itself, but I've seen the Disney cartoon and most recently the Tim Burton adaptation (which of course is very different as it features an older Alice). So going in, I had a good idea of what to expect.

There really isn't much for me to say about this book that hasn't already been said. It's such a well-loved story, and it's so easy to see why. The characters are unbelievably silly, the plotline is crazy, and the dialogue is sharp and witty to no end. Precisely my type of book! My favourite exchanges, arguably, are those between Alice, the Gryphon, and the Mock Turtle. This had me laughing for ages:
"When we were little," the Mock Turtle went on at last, more calmly, though still sobbing a little now and then, "we went to school in the sea. The master was an old Turtle -- we used to call him Tortoise ------"
"Why did you call him Tortoise, if he wasn't one?" Alice asked.
"We called him Tortoise because he taught us," said the Mock Turtle angrily. "Really you are very dull!"
I single that part out, but really there were so many moments that had me tickled. There can't be many book lovers who are yet to pick up Alice's Adventures, but if you haven't, do. It's so charming and offbeat that it will keep you light and happy on even the dreariest of days!

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Farewell, Borders...

As I write this, I am close to tearing up. Borders bookstore will soon only be a memory in the minds of people across the world. To many of these it was just another shop, but to me it was more than that, and the recent announcement that Borders is to close in the USA has resurfaced my sadness.

Oxford Borders in its last days. {photo source}
My first experience with Borders was on a visit to the States, and is actually where I got the book I talk about in my second Follow Friday post. I fell in love with the place because, at the time, I hadn't seen such an extensive book shop here in the UK. It was just so inviting with chairs you could sit in and read, magazines to browse uninterrupted, shelves and shelves of books, CDs and DVDs just waiting to be explored. I only wished that we had a store like this on our shores.

It wasn't until a few years later on a visit with a few close friends that I actually discovered that there was a Borders in Oxford! I'd caught a glimpse of a small hanging sign a couple of years before, but as it was down a small alleyway I thought it wouldn't be on the same scale and didn't bother looking. Back then I didn't venture into Oxford much as it was unfamilar, but as my familiarity grew (and my confidence in the public transportation system), I began taking regular trips in, and spent hours inside at a time.

A lot of my memories involve these close friends, who were were exchange students visiting for a few months and were discovering the city at the same time as I was. We'd always end up inside Borders as it was so near the bus stop, and also right in the heart of the main shopping centre. Of course, I'd visit the store with other friends too, including my particularly bookish friend who could spend as many hours browsing the shelves as I could. It was also a fantastic place to get newspapers and magazines from all over the world... I remember going all the way there just to get, ahem, Teen People every month/week/whenever it came out! Then my addiction to Starbucks flourished. What's better than the world's best coffee attached to the world's best bookstore?! Yup, Borders became a place of real comfort to me.

And now we all must move without it. Even though it has been ages since we lost Borders here, I still hate walking past the Tescos Metro that now stands in its place in Oxford. I know it might sound dramatic, and there might be a few people rolling their eyes, but this is a heart-wrenching loss to me. Sure, in the UK we have other bookstores, and lately I've been avoiding chains and opting for second-hand and independent booksellers, but they're not the same at all.

So thanks for all the memories and the comfort, Borders. This girl misses you very muchly!

I'd love to hear about your views/experiences of Borders, whether they were positive or negative. Am I the only crazy person out there? ;-)

The empty Oxford Borders. Sighage. {photo source}

Review: The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Poor Bilbo Baggins! An unassuming and rather plump hobbit (as most of these small, furry-footed people tend to be ), Baggins finds himself unwittingly drawn into adventure by a wizard named Gandalf and 13 dwarves bound for the Lonely Mountain, where a dragon named Smaug hordes a stolen treasure. Before he knows what is happening, Baggins finds himself on the road to danger. (via

I am so glad to have finally read this book! I've been a fan of The Lord Of The Rings film trilogy for years, and so have been meaning to get around to reading the original works by Tolkien himself. I have to admit though that it was all this talk about the upcoming film adaptation of The Hobbit which gave me the drive to pick up the book itself (these days I'm trying to be good and read the books before I watch the films). Now I can sit back and watch the development of Peter Jackson's latest quest with safe insight into what's coming up!

In terms of the book itself, I was not dissapointed. You really get the feeling that you are an extra member of the excursion to the lonely mountain, following the courageous and intelligent hobbit Bilbo Baggins, the dwarves and the wizard Gandalf on their quest to reclaim the Lonely Mountain treasures from the evil dragon Smaug. All the changing surroundings and eclectic characters are described beautifully, and while this is a somewhat long and perilous adventure, there is no shortage of magic, cheer or even of song.

Tolkien originally wrote The Hobbit for his children, so if you have kids of your own who enjoy stories of enchantment then it's likely that they'll love this. Of course, the appeal doesn't stop there - there is enough in this book to appeal to many adults. This is also the prelude to The Lord Of The Rings series (though you do not need to read one to enjoy the other), and from what I understand they are more orientated towards an older audience.

Personally, I can't wait to read the rest of Mr Tolkien's books!

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Jane Austen's Manuscripts

I was browsing Google News a week or two ago and came across an article stating that part of Jane Austen's unfinished manuscript for The Watsons was going up for auction. It ended up being sold a few days later to the Bodleian Library in Oxford for just under £1million (you can read interesting articles about this on The Guardian website and on the Bodleian Library website).

I know, just under 1 million?! It is an awful lot to most of us. There goes the dream of ever owning an Austen manuscript. Well, at least until winning the lottery, becoming the CEO/MD of a major company or marrying somebody very well off comes along, and another manuscript ends up on the market!

But then I found a website where you can electronically view Austen manuscripts for free! I thought I'd share this with you guys incase you weren't aware that such a site existed, and were curious to have a look. You can find it at

Also, Risa at Bread Crumb Reads is hosting a series of group reads and next month's book is Sense And Sensibility. If you're interested in taking part, check out the details here. Group reads for the following few months can be found there, too. Looks like it's going to be pretty fun!

Hope you all have had a fantastic weekend! I'll be back later in the week with my review of The Hobbit. In the meantime enjoy the manuscripts, and be sure to check out my interview with Natalie over at Independent Reads!

    Friday, 15 July 2011

    Follow Friday – #3

    This week's featured blogger - Angie at Angela's Anxious Life
    Check out her blog!

    My 3rd week joining the Follow Friday fun hosted by Parajunkee! Here's this week's question:

    What do I do when I am not reading?

    I shop a lot more than I should! I'm just getting over a mini obsession with nail polish so now I have enough colours to last a lifetime (or at least a few months!) Now I'm into buying used books... I've bought about a dozen the past couple of weeks or so!
    Also, I love animals and so I volunteer at a shelter in my village. At one point I wanted to be an environmental scientist until I finally accepted that my brain is not scientifically inclined! LOL!

    There's more I could tell you but I'll save that for another time. :-)

    Thanks for visiting, guys! What do you get up to?

    Wednesday, 13 July 2011

    Another Blog Update!

    This'll be the last for a while - I promise!

    You've probably noticed that I've changed the blog design again. Trust me when I say that this will be the last time for quite a while. I'm truly happy with this design - straightforwardly pretty I reckon. What do you guys think?

    And most excitedly is the new domain for my blog - you can now find Life Between Pages by going to! What can I say... I couldn't resist! Ha.

    Secondly, I've decided to stop doing the Currently Reading posts and instead just have a picture of the book I'm reading on the sidebar, which you can click on and be taken to the description. This way it will be quicker for you to find out what I'm reading, and also I'll have more time to get creative with my other blog posts! Glance over there now & you'll find that I'm reading The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. :-D

    So there you have it. Hope you're all having a good week, guys!


    Review: The Catcher In The Rye by J.D. Salinger

    As I said in Currently Reading, the first page of The Catcher In The Rye amused me so much that I strongly felt it had to be my next read! Certainly, I found the first few chapters pretty funny, but then it kind of lost that charm with me. Here's why.

    The protagonist is Holden Caulfield, a rebellious, alienated 17 year old boy living in 1949. The book is written as if Holden is talking to us, the readers, as friends, while he explains the accurances of the first few days after he flunks out school for the fourth time. Along the way we discover the inner workings of his mind as he describes his family life, the schools he went to, his academic record, love interests, and brief conversations with strangers.

    Holden is most definitely a cynic. That's given away on the first page. In fact, the first page pretty much sets the tone for the entire book. Here you get a good introduction into the kind of language that is used; language that would have been very controversial when it was first published in 1951. There are plenty of swear words! Okay, so nothing that we would constitute as swearing today (at least not until the last couple of chapters of the book), but I guess they would have been back in those days. Some of the themes are also quite controversial. For instance, without giving too much away, Holden has an encounter with a prostitute. Yeah. That definitely would've hit some kind of mark back then, and perhaps even today. There are a few other risque subject matters but I won't go into those incase I ruin it for you fine people. Let's just say that it doesn't go too overboard for our 21st century world, but it would have done for the mid-20th century world in which it was written.

    Anway, I enjoyed the general story. It was easy to follow, but not in a way that made it particularly dull. What I did dislike was the repetitive language J.D. Salinger has given our lead, and this is what tainted the book's initial charm for me. Holden tends to use the same words to describe everything - I lost count of the amount of times he called people 'phony' or 'lousy' or described his mood as simply 'depressing'. He also uses the same phrases a lot, such as 'I really do', 'that killed me' and 'I'm not kidding'. It did quite annoy me, and so I stopped finding it funny after about the first three or four chapters. It would've entertained me much more if Holden was given a more diverse dialect, but I guess that Salinger wanted to emphasise the fact that he is just a teenager who honestly doesn't 'give a damn' about anything or hardly anyone.

    But don't get me wrong. This book doesn't depress you, even if it is quite obvious that our protagonist is unhappy with his life. It is a somewhat dark tale that is told with a level of cheeriness. Am I making sense? It is quite a complex book, even if the dialogue is straightforward. I really think that whoever reads this book could get a lot out of it. I myself found it very possible to identify with some of the moods and observations Holden has.

    I say give The Catcher In The Rye a chance, especially if you enjoy reading young adult novels. It's easy to see why this book appeals to people of that demographic even today; J.D. Salinger has definitely encaptured the world of teenage angst in a way that trancends time.

    Have you read the book? What did you think about it?

    Sunday, 10 July 2011

    Cover Girl - the Art of Buying Books

    When I'm in a bookshop, there are two things I look out for: an intriguing title and eye-catching artwork. I know the old saying don't judge a book by it's cover but, as hard as I've tried, I just can't get this to work for me when I'm shopping for something brand new. I don't pay as much attention when I'm out for a specific title or am browsing second hand shelves; they can have some amazing gems so I usually seek something different there. But elsewhere, especially in adult and young adult fiction, it's got to grab me. This is one of the reasons why I'm not much of a reader of crime or science fiction novels because most of the time I dislike the artwork. The titles might interest me enough to pick them up and start reading the back, but I've got to admit it's not very often I stroll over to those sections. Maybe you should let me know what I'm missing, crime/sci-fi fans?

    Meanwhile, here's a farout take on an eye-catching Sophie-would-like-this cover:

    I doubt I would've found this book had it not been for the magnetic title and the hysterical cover art! I didn't buy it in Waterstones because it was full price (a whopping £10), but amazingly I managed to find it brand new at a charity shop for a meagre £2.99! I was psyched... for sure! If you ever come across the book, take a peek inside - there are maps and illustrations galore! It's on my reading list at the moment; I'll probably pick it up when I'm in good need of a hearty laugh. :-)

    So how about you? Do you shop for books in a similar way or are you a content-first kind of person?

    Saturday, 9 July 2011

    Currently Reading: The Catcher In The Rye by J.D. Salinger

    "The Catcher in the Rye" is the ultimate novel for disaffected youth, but it's relevant to all ages. The story is told by Holden Caulfield, a seventeen- year-old dropout who has just been kicked out of his fourth school. Throughout, Holden dissects the 'phony' aspects of society, and the 'phonies' themselves: the headmaster whose affability depends on the wealth of the parents, his roommate who scores with girls using sickly-sweet affection. (via The Book Depository)

    I originally picked Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck to read next. Then I found The Catcher In The Rye staring me in the face, so I opened it up and read the first page. The airy cynisism of the first few sentences have reeled me in! So sorry John, you'll have to wait a bit longer!

    Now please excuse me while I dive head first into this classic!

    Friday, 8 July 2011

    Review: Rich Girl, Poor Girl by Lesley Lokko

    I can't remember reading a book that had this many events and characters crammed into just under 600 pages! I don't even know where to start explaining the story to you. But, I must somewhere, so here it goes.

    Essentially Rich Girl, Poor Girl follows the lives of three friends (Caryn, Tory and Nic) throughout fourteen years of their lives. There is no detail spared - you learn about their upbringing, how they met, what they did after leaving school, follow all their relationships, careers and their scandals.

    But not only does it explain, detail by candid detail, their lives, but also the lives of those around them and even those they have yet to meet. This includes the 'mystery girl' Estelle who is supposed to play a central role in the story. Now if you ask me, even if you took Estelle completely out of the picture and erased everything involving her, it wouldn't matter. She doesn't come into contact with any of the other characters until more than half way through the book. It's supposed to be a significant storyline, but Lokko spent so much time building up her character that by the time she reached the climax, she just seemed to throw her aside and bury her under the rubble. And to be honest, the book might have actually been better without Estelle.

    In saying that, I do believe there are far too many characters. Although their development is good, the move from person to person can be very abrupt. Tangle all of this in with rapidly changing timelines and it can get very confusing. There were multiple times I wasn't sure when I was supposed to be!

    The ending was also slightly anti climatic. When it finally builds to the point the entire book has been leading to, the rich detailing comes to an end. It's as if Lokko realised she'd gone on for far too long, got tired and decided to finish it off quickly.

    I say all this, but I did actually enjoy reading Rich Girl, Poor Girl. The stories and the characters are interesting, if not a little confusing. It isn't something I would read again, nor am I tempted to read any of Lokko's other books, but it certainly does draw you in. I would have much preferred it though, if at the beginning of each chapter there was a clear indication the year and what character would be followed; something as simple as that would've definitely enhanced the experience.

    Follow Friday – #2

    This week's featured blogger - Lisa at Read. Breathe. Relax.
    Check out her blog!

    Week numero dos has arrived! Here's this week's Book Blog Follow Friday question:

    Let's step away from besties...What is the worst book that you've ever read and actually finished?

    It's definitely going to be Fighting Back (Dear Diary Series #6) by Cheryl Lanham.

    I picked this up while on holiday in the USA when I was a teenager. Although I liked it when I was 14, I'm sure the more mature (maturity is still a relative term where I'm concerned) me would've put this back on the bookshop shelf as soon as I read the description at the back: 

    'After her mom dies, high school senior Amber Makepeace moves away to live with her cousin. It's really hard being the new girl in town-and when the school bully starts picking on her, she decides to fight back.' 

    Amber Makepeace. Need I say more? Lucky for me I aged and grew better taste! Ha.

    Thank you for coming over and reading, guys! Be sure to check out my brand spanking new review for Rich Girl, Poor Girl by Lesley Lokko while you're here. :-)

    Tuesday, 5 July 2011

    Fret Not, I Live!

    Hello everyone! Sorry it's been a few days since my last post - as you know, I have an assignment deadline this week and so haven't had a lot of time for much else. But come Friday, it'll be done thank goodness!

    I'm still reading through Rich Girl, Poor Girl and am really enjoying it; so much in fact that I've had to ask people to hide it from me for a few hours a day just so I can get work done! I really can't wait to find out what happens to all the characters (there are quite a few of them)! But more on the book when I get it finished.

    I also snuck away on Saturday to raid a car boot sale for some books, and came away with 7 titles in great condition, and at an absolute steal (6 for 10p and 1 for 50p!) A lady also had these awesome vintage 1980s fashion magazines for 10p each in almost immaculate condition, so I swiped 3! I love the '80s - if I could get my hands on Doc Brown's Delorean time machine, I'd go straight to that decade!

    Lastly, I won Michelle's giveaway over at Another Look Book Reviews! I now have the pleasure of owning digital copies of Margaret Ethridge's books Paramour and, her most recent release, Contentment. Thank you, ladies!

    Sooo that's all for now, folks. See you later in the week!

    Friday, 1 July 2011

    Follow Friday – #1

    This week's featured blogger - Erika at Let's Talk About Books
    Check out her blog! :)
    So I have just joined the weekly Book Blog Follow Friday hosted by Parajunkee! I'll admit that I'm a bit unsure about what I'm doing, so hopefully I get this right. I intend to actively follow every blog listed over on the post, but as there are 200+ it's going to take some time. Will get there, though!

     This week's question: ACK! Your favourite book/movie character (example Hermione Granger played by the Emma chick) just walked into the room! Who is it and what would be your first reaction?

    Without any second thought, I'm going to say Mr Darcy as played by Colin Firth in the 1995 BBC television adaptation of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.

    I remember reading the book for the first time for GCSE English Lit at school and absolutely falling in love with it. Along with reading, the teacher also got us to watch the TV series in the hopes that it would aid our learning. At first I thought Mr Darcy was, of course, a dislikeable snob, but after his declaration of love to Elizabeth I could not help but fall for him myself!

    Plus, Colin Firth in the series is very easy on the eyes! Sigh. I love him to pieces! Was so elated when he finally got that well-deserved Oscar for The King's Speech (another excellent film)...

    Anyway, I think I've read the book about 3 times since and watched the TV series a few times more! I've also got at least 5 copies of the book -- I went through a phase of having to buy old hardback versions whenever I saw one! It is by far my favourite novel and Colin Firth is, without contest, the best Mr Darcy. In my eyes, anyway. Move aside Matthew McFadyan (anyone else think the Keira Knightley version was terrible?!)
    As for my reaction if Mr Darcy/Colin Firth walked into the room? Well, I think I would either stand on the spot and become silent from shock, then afterwards walk up to him shaking and stuttering about how amazing I thought he was and congratulate him on everything... OR I would scream, rush over to him, gush, and cry my eyes out. The former would be the best option, but either way I would make a fool out of myself!

    What about you guys? Who is your favourite book or film character?