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Twilight By Stephenie Meyer February 28, 2010

Posted by KJ theBookGirl in review.
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The following video is a requested review of Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. I discuss the different attitudes towards Twilight, as well as reviewing the novel.
Click here to read my written review of Twilight.

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The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory January 11, 2010

Posted by KJ theBookGirl in review.
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The Other Boleyn Girl follows the story of Mary Boleyn as she faces the trials of life in Henry VIII’s court. Falling in love with the King, and having to resign this to your deadliest rival, at the order of family definitely gives a good plot, but further twists and turns with the demands of the court and of others promising you that to fly away with your dreams can be done…well, only Philippa Gregory is capable of such a masterpiece of a novel.

Watch my video blog below to see my thoughts on the outstanding novel:

The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks December 28, 2009

Posted by KJ theBookGirl in review.
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The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

The Notebook is a highly emotional novel written by Nicholas Sparks. It follows the story of two old lovers; Allie and Noah, as they find one another again.

“North Carolina, October 1946. Noah Calhoun has recently returned from war: he tries to forget the horrors he has seen and experienced by restoring an old plantation home. But though his days are spent working, his nights too often give way to dreams of his past.

Fourteen years ago, Noah fell in love with a girl, and he is still haunted by her memory but convinced he will never find her again. But when the past slips into the present, Noah realises his ghosts are never far away.”

Allie is a beautifully written character, a fierce and strong protagonist who, although recently engaged to a high flying lawyer, cannot forget her old love, Noah, who she met for a brief but perfect summer at the age of fifteen. As her first love, he was special, but more than that, we quickly realise that the two of them were meant for each other.

Noah, too, has never forgotten Allie, and although he achieved great things for a man of his social class in southern America, it is the simple beauty of life and nature that makes him work. As a character he is breathtaking; he is wise, and realises what it really important. Yet mostly his undying, pure love for Allie, which is strong in every breath he takes, every word he speaks, makes the reader feel such empathy for him that he is destined to be an unforgotten classic of this decade.

This novel has an excellent plot, it really touches upon current emotional issues, and allows the reader to feel the full weight of implications they cause, in particular the deterioration of life, which is brilliantly contrasted with the tale of the lively, feisty youngsters. Every reader will relate to the way in which what was once so fresh and powerful will age, and change, but still can hold a power beyond human understanding. Sparks has captured this beautifully, in a genre which usually avoids such complex and deep issues.

The only criticism I assign to the writing is the way the characters are too perfect – of course, this makes the contrast between young and old much more powerful, but the characters have no real flaws. They have the indisputable love that is comparable to Heathcliffe and Cathy; but they have none of the flaws which make such an epic love possible.

It may also be suggested that, although the plot of the story is near perfect, and the characters are beautiful, the style is too simplified to show such a deep love. Perhaps this is because the love is a simple thing, but often the expression of it seems a little tame or repetitive “Her fell in love with her…he fell in love with her…he loved her”. However, this may just be demonstrating the extent of the love and the full, unelaborated power of it.

Perhaps one of the best ways Sparks expresses the love of the characters is through the incessant poetry running through Noah’s mind. He quotes and inserts in a way that not only flows with the novel but enhances and immortalises it, causing the reader to yearn for more and feel the deep emotions of Allie and Noah.

The novel is a brilliant read, and perfect for any emotion. It is a beautiful story and excellently written, despite its minor flaws, with quotes which could prove to be lines to live by. If you have not read this bestselling novel, you simply have not lived.

KJ
theBookGirl

Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman June 18, 2009

Posted by KJ theBookGirl in review, Uncategorized.
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Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman

Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman

Noughts and Crosses is a truly excellent book which treads the delicate path of racist attitudes weaving between a passionate and strong romance.

“I had to make a choice. I had to decide what kind of friend Callum was going to be to me. But what surprised and upset me was that I even had to think about it…

Callum is a nought – a second-class citizen in a world run by the ruling Crosses. He is also one of the first nought youngsters to be given the chance of a decent education by studying at a school for Crosses…

Sephy is a Cross, daughter of one of the most powerful men in the country – a man doing his best to keep power in the hands of the Crosses. Friends with Callum since early childhood, hoping for something more to develop, she is looking forward to Callum’s arrival at her school…

But in their world, noughts and Crosses simply don’t mix. And as hostility turns to violence, can Callum and Sephy possibly find a way to be together? They are determined to try. And then a bomb explodes…”

This novel deals with many of the delicate issues in modern society, very carefully intertwining them with a romance story which will affect for days, weeks, months, years to come.

Racism is a main feature of this novel and the separation between the black people and the white people is heart wrenching as Sephy and Callum struggle to remain true to who they are and what they believe.

Terrorism also features, as it always does when extreme prejudice has occurred, and this provides a very real edge to the story which can be felt second hand as realistic in today’s society.

The story between Sephy and Callum is one, once again, of forbidden love. Where in Mansfield Park it’s the love of a cousin, or in Twilight of an immortal, here it is a divide of classes which causes the problem.

This story cuts deep into the heart as it unfolds, with many twists and emotional tales, the characters we very quickly feel close to and a part of, ruthlessly carry on the story, uncaring of our pleas to make different choices or for the cruel world to change in a sentence.

This story will most definitely take you on a journey you will not forget in a hurry, and even if you have a heart of stone, this story will hurt you and mend you, changing you throughout its course as we catch a glimpse of Sephy and Callum’s life.

This novel is definitely worth a read, if you haven’t picked it up already. All you will need to undertake the journey is a box of tissues and the beautifully crafted words of Malorie Blackman.

KJ
The BookGirl

Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer June 8, 2009

Posted by KJ theBookGirl in review, Twilight, Uncategorized.
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Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer

Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer

Brief warning: Only read this review if you have read Twilight and New Moon! I do reference those novels, although I give no spoilers for Eclipse.

 

Eclipse; the third installment of the Twilight Saga, more than lives up to the introduction and sequel which Twilight and New Moon gave. This novel shows the story after the return of Edward and the reconciliation with Jake. Once again Meyer delivers a fabulous combination of developed characters, spine-tingling horror and deep, forbidden, love.

“Bella?

Edward’s soft voice came from behind me. He pulled me into his arms at once, and kissed me. His kiss frightened me. There was too much tension, too strong an edge on the way his lips crushed mine – like he was afraid we had only so much time left with us.

As Seattle is ravaged by a string of mysterious killings and a malicious vampire continues her quest for revenge, Bella once again finds herself surrounded by danger. In the midst of it all, she is forced to choose between her love for Edward and her friendship with Jacob – knowing that her decision has the potential to ignite the ageless struggle between vampire and werewolf. With her graduation approaching, Bella has one more decision to make: life or death. But which is which?

Following the international bestsellers Twilight and New Moon, Eclipse is the much-anticipated third book in Stephenie Meyer’s captivating saga of vampire romance.”

Eclipse, as the absolute centre of the beautiful saga, is filled with drama and emotions; so much love, so much hate, so much tenderness one heart can hardly bear such a novel, yet as your heart is torn apart and roughly sewn back together, no matter what team you’re on, you will find yourself once again absorbed into Bella’s world of mythical creatures. 

Bella, once again heroine, has to find a ground where she is comfortable, unwilling to give up either gorgeous hunk in her life, but being forced to choose by each, she is now in the predicament of all predicaments, and as she slowly tears her life apart on a quest for something it seems she cannot have, yet more drama unfolds as Victoria is still after her, the good vamps are back, but the increasing wolf pack is also still around.

I can promise you three things from this novel:

1) Edward is more romantic and more desirable than ever; he shows how much he cares for Bella and what a good person he really is. In this novel I felt so much pain on his behalf, and this is clearly well written by Meyer, as she once again gets the reader to connect with the characters

2) Jake gets his look in; we all know that Jake would never let Bella disappear from his life without a fight, and so the situation between Edward and Jacob is created – pick your team and get ready for great heart ache!

3) The violence and action, the horror and thrills aren’t nearly over yet – remember you still have Victoria prowling around out to get Bella, not to mention the Volturi’s ominous warning that they’d check up on Bella’s vamp status… if you think New Moon had action you haven’t seen anything yet…

This novel is a truly great continuation of the saga, and although the feeling is general more of despair and hatred rather than love and hope, Meyer still captivates her audience as the plot becomes darker, and not only are our favourite characters given further depth (even shallow old Rosalie) but we have a whole new cast who are equally as deep and complex.

Bad points? Well, once again Bella spends far too much time complaining and feeling sorry for herself 0- she still needs to be more constructive and the heroine a bit, instead of the moaning damsel in distress. However, she does grow up a lot in this novel, which is definitely something to look out for.

In conclusion, a darker and fuller plot with the amazing characters which Meyer has created will make you longing for Forks long after you read this gorgeous novel.

KJ
theBookGirl

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer May 3, 2009

Posted by KJ theBookGirl in book, books, Novel, recommendation, review, theBookGirl, Young Adult.
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TwilightTwilight: the most talked about book in the world (quite possibly).

You have to have been living on planet Zog to not have heard about the chick-lit young adult love story of Bella Swan, your typical teenage girl falling for the sexiest and most gentlemanly vampire in the history of literature…

The plot? Bella Swan is the new kid in town as she moves from sunny place-to-be Phoenix, Arizona where her Mum previously lived, to rainy, small town dullsville Forks, Washington where her dad, cheif cop Charlie, has always lived.

Bella dreads her first day of school, despite having a swanky new car, sorry, beat up old Chevvy Truck.

There she spots the sex God, archangel, embodiment of all things a girl desires, Edward Cullen *swoon*

Unfortunately, he’s a bad-guy-vampire (but with a conscience) and wants to drink her blood. Cue the most passionate and intense forbidden love story since Lizzy Bennett and Mr. Dashing Darcy.

Soon enough Bella has to suss out exactly what Edward is and then fight a battle with herself about what she wants, and what he might want.

This story is epic, written well, despite criticism, as Meyer manages to really get the reader to be Bella. Soon enough you will find yourself trapped in the frightening and fast-paced world of Bella Swan, and you will be rooting for her the whole way.

The story manages to dramatically capture exactly what a dream guy would be like for many a girl (too bad that to be this perfect he has to be immortal). This beautiful story stays with you far beyon the too few pages, even after the three equally awesome sequels.

To live as Bella and see these events unfold through her eyes is an unforgettable journey, especially with the perfect, sigh-enducing, fangirl-screaming lines Edward oh so casually drops, where in the real world would be so out of place, but are what many a girl would love to be told.

Bad points? Well, to start there are far, far too many typos throughout the book – seriously, the editor should have checked through this one more time!

On the style? Well Bella is developed, but there is room for more – she does complain an awful lot, where if I were her I would be dancing and giggling my life away. Also, the book focusses a little too much on looks – people are shallow but most people would want personality over looks; especially in a friend, but this isn’t always how Bella seems to feel.

Anyway, to summarise, Twilight is a light and funny novel, perfect for a summer read on the beach. It’s great for all ages (above 13 I would say, if you go on to read the whole series) and although Meyer is nowhere near being the next Austen, she has potential. She has potential.

KJ
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