Sunday, 27 July 2014

Monthly book reviews - June

Now that I've finished university and entered the grown up world of work, I'm spending a considerable amount of time on a train commuting too and from my job. This has resulted in lots of books being read, which gave me the idea of starting a monthly feature of mini reviews.  I've never had a recurring feature on my blog, so lets hope I can keep it up. (One post a month can't be that hard right?!)

So, here is my 'June mini book review monthly feature' (yeah, I'm still working on a name..)

'Divergent' Series by Veronica Roth

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, Tris also learns that her secret might help her save the ones she loves . . . or it might destroy her

Goodreads (Note, no synopsis for spoiler reasons)
Goodreads (Note, no synopsis for spoiler reasons)

Review: So I'm way late to the game with these books. I'm sure most of you will have already read these books or seen the film adaptation, neither of which I have done before June. It was about time I read the books and I'm pleased I did. The books were a great easy read that sucks you into the world of the five factions. I really liked the characters, and as soon as I finished Divergent, I started the second book, Insurgent. I would recommend the whole series (if I ever find anyone who hasn't already read the books). Now all I have to do, is watch the film. 

Pigeon English by Stephen Kelman

Eleven-year-old Harrison Opoku, the second best runner in Year 7, races through his new life in England with his personalised trainers - the Adidas stripes drawn on with marker pen - blissfully unaware of the very real threat around him. Newly-arrived from Ghana with his mother and older sister Lydia, Harri absorbs the many strange elements of city life, from the bewildering array of Haribo sweets, to the frightening, fascinating gang of older boys from his school. But his life is changed forever when one of his friends is murdered. As the victim's nearly new football boots hang in tribute on railings behind fluorescent tape and a police appeal draws only silence, Harri decides to act, unwittingly endangering the fragile web his mother has spun around her family to keep them safe.

Review: I really enjoyed this book. It is similar to 'Boy in the Striped Pyjamas' by John Boyne as the book is being told through the eyes of a young boy, and the reader is able to see the bigger picture, and understand more than Harrison ever could. Brilliantly written and a very interesting read. 

'Uglies' Series by Scott Westerfeld

Everybody gets to be supermodel gorgeous. What could be wrong with that? 

Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can't wait. Not for her license - for turning pretty. In Tally's world, your sixteenth birthday brings an operation that turns you from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to have a really great time. In just a few weeks Tally will be there.

But Tally's new friend Shay isn't sure she wants to be pretty. She'd rather risk life on the outside. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world and it isn't very pretty. The authorities offer Tally the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. 

The choice Tally makes changes her world forever...
Goodreads (Note, no synopsis for spoiler reasons)
Goodreads (Note, no synopsis for spoiler reasons)
Review: The idea bend this book is really interesting and it brings up a lot of questions about society today. I read the first book so quickly, partly because it was a quick and easy read, and partly because I liked it so much. I went straight onto the second book and this was when things started going downhill. Whilst the second book was good, I didn't enjoy it as much as the first book. And the third book? Well I really didn't enjoy the last book. I had to force myself to finish it. It was a really disappointing ending to the series.

I hope you enjoyed this post, I know it's a little late to be posting for the month of June, but it's the first one so you'll cut me some slack right? If you'd like to keep up do date with what I'm reading, or get some ideas of books you'd like to read your self then you can become my friend on Goodreads. Hope you all have a lovely weekend!

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All book synopsis are from Goodreads

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