Monday, 13 March 2017

Review: Room by Emma Donoghue

It doesn't feel right to say I loved this book considering the subject matter, it's definitely one that will stay with me for a long time. This is very much Jack's story and the perspective of a five year old moves it away from being a traditional crime novel or thriller or family drama even, it becomes its own very unique genre. Listening to Jack describe his world made me think of my small cousins and smile and then it made my heart break for him all over again. I was absolutely terrified for him during The Great Escape (and I'd seen the film first so knew what would happen). His innocence is beautifully written throughout and the grown up drama becomes background noise as you are drawn into Jack's mind as he tries to rationalise new experiences like stairs.

I really would recommend this to anyone to read at least once despite the subject matter it is heartwarming and hopeful, the world looks very different when you are five and sometimes it's nice to be reminded of that.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Review: The Maze Runner by James Dashner

I really wanted to like this book, I persevered in the hope it would improve and there would be some reward or revelation for me that would make me desperate to read the next book (because I have the whole trilogy in my possession). Alas it would appear I waited in vain as I am no more knowledgeable now than I was going in.

The key thing that really annoyed me about this book was the total lack of explanation throughout. The characters seemed to spend all their time withholding information from each other for no apparent reason. Just to be clear these boys are supposed to be smart and the best they can come up with is to continuously run around the maze making maps and keeping it a total secret from the majority of the group. They kept saying "we have tried everything", I just got so tired of hearing it, if you're trapped in an apparently exitless maze why are you literally running in circles achieving precisely nothing?!

On the up side it was a light read for a young adult dystopia, don't expect any The Hunger Games emotional weight as the characters here are more two dimensional than a piece of paper. I know that sounds harsh but I actually like a bit of substance to my characters and just because this is young adult I see no need to dumb down their plight.

On the whole this was a bit of a miss for me, I'll read the rest of the series but if I didn't already have them on my bookshelf I don't think I'd care enough to hunt them down.