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The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid. - Jane Austen

Review: James Sallis – Drive

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James Sallis - DriveI had been wanting to read this book since I saw the film last year and found out it was based on a book by James Sallis. When I saw it in the shop and realised how short it was, it didn’t really surprise me, since Ryan Gosling seemed to say about 10 words during the whole film.

I was expecting the book to be quite graphically violent, but it wasn’t as bad as the film. Although I didn’t seem to find the film as shocking as most people either. Since I’d already seen the film, I couldn’t help but read the book with the image of Ryan Gosling as Driver (not that that’s a bad thing, I should say). But in hindsight, I do wish I’d read the book before I watched the film, because I think it spoilt the experience for me.

Even though Driver is not exactly a model member of society, you can’t help but feel a connection to him right from the get go, this was definitely helped by the writing style of Sallis, very gritty and close. The fact that the book was less than 200 pages was a bit of a disappointment, but it made for a very fast-paced read – perfect for sitting out in the garden on this sunny Sunday. Three out of five, but only because my expectations were set high by the film.

3-5

Now Reading: James M. Cain – Double Indemnity

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double-indemnity-james-m-cain-e1336595513384I’ve had this book on my shelf for ages and the last few times I’ve gone to choose what book to read, this one has caught my attention.

It’s part of a set of books I bought that have been made into successful films, and this one was apparently made in 1944 (the book was written in 1936). I’ve never seen the film (although I guess I probably should have), so I’m not really that sure what the book is about, but I’ve heard good things about it.

Review: Nicholas Sparks – The Lucky One

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the-lucky-one-nicholas-sparks-e1336408994993I’m sure you totally didn’t expect me to say this, but I loved this book. When you start a Nicholas Sparks book you know totally what to expect, but it still pulls you in and you find yourself enthralled to the very last page!

The book centres around a marine called Logan Thibault, who finds a picture of a woman in the middle of the desert in Iraq. After no-one claims it from the notice-board, he decides to keep it and it becomes a good luck charm.

*Spoiler alert – if you’re going to read this book or watch the film, don’t read any further!*

When he gets back from Iraq, he walks from Colorado to Hampton (North Carolina) to try and find this woman who has kept him safe. Surprisingly enough, he thinks it would be a bit creepy to tell her the truth, so instead he gets a job working for her Nana and gradually strikes up a romance with her.

Throughout the book, we are introduced to her ex husband Clayton, a rather overbearing man who likes to be in control, and is not pleased with the way his son has turned out (not sporty enough for his liking). He’s constantly controlling the situation and tries to get Logan to leave town. It doesn’t look to be working, until he finds out about the photo and goes running to tell Elizabeth the truth.

As you would expect, she goes mad when she finds out and tells Logan she wants him to leave. But, this being a Nicholas Sparks book, a chat with her Nana and a heart to heart with her son Ben brings her to her senses and everything is right back on track.

But not without one last hitch to spice up the end of the story. Clayton goes storming round to Beth’s house to confront her, and when Ben walks in on them, he runs out into a thunderstorm to his treehouse over the (now raging) creek. By the time Beth and Clayton catch up with him, he’s dangling in the water and hanging on to the rope ladder, but it soon becomes clear he can’t hold on much longer. Clayton dives in the water after him, but he’s not strong enough to help, and ends up in trouble too.

Just in time, Logan and his loyal dog Zeus come running up to the river bank and dive into the water. Zeus helps to drag Ben out, but it looks like Logan is struggling with Clayton and he ends up being pushed under the water. The last we know, his lungs are on fire and it looks like it might be the end…

The story then skips to two months later and all we know is that someone has died, but there is no indication as to who. There’s a horrible couple of pages where it looks like the book is going to end in completely the wrong way, but in typical Sparks style, we end up with a happy-ever-after ending.

I really needed this book after the last few I’ve read and not really enjoyed as much as normal. Really looking forward to seeing the film now (if I can persuade Cameron to go with me)!

5-5

Now Reading: Nicholas Sparks – The Lucky One

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the-lucky-one-nicholas-sparks-e1336408994993It’s no secret that I love Nicholas Sparks, I don’t think I’ve ever read one of his books that I didn’t like. Although I said that about Charlaine Harris and I’ve been disappointed with the last books I’ve read. This is one of the few Nicholas Sparks books that I’ve not read yet, and when I saw a trailer for it at the cinema I knew I needed to read the book before I go see the film.

The only bad thing about buying a book so close to the film coming out is that it is hard to find one with a nice cover. Instead, I’ve had to settle for one with Zac Efron and generic blonde woman (whatever her name is). I am a sucker for a book with a nice cover, but it’s whats on the inside that counts, so lets hope the book is good! Then I can drag Cameron to see the film with me (or at least I can try)! 🙂

Now Reading: Suzanne Collins – Catching Fire (The Hunger Games Pt 2)

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suzanne-collins-catching-fire-e1332001505516After the speed in which I read the first book in this series, I can’t wait to get started on this. I might have to slow down a bit though or it’ll all be over too quickly! After the end of the last book, I really have no idea what will happen in this one. My friend Abi mentioned something about Gale, so maybe he will have more involvement in this book?

With it being Mother’s Day tomorrow (eek – should probably go and buy a card or something!), I probably won’t have as much time to read this one as I did the first one. Hopefully the weather will be nice and I can take my mum out somewhere. 🙂

Review: Suzanne Collins – The Hunger Games

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suzanne-collins-the-hunger-games-e1331933637252I’m kind of ashamed to say I devoured this book in less than a day. I now know why all the reviews I’ve read say that you just can’t put it down once you’ve started it. I’m going to try not to spoil the story too much in case you haven’t read it yet and you’re planning to do so – I’ve already persuaded my dad and brother to give it a try.

The book is aimed at teenagers, so it’s pretty easy reading, and the actually fighting scenes in the book are not that graphic, although the premise of the book is quite still quite shocking. Basically, 24 teenagers are picked at random and sent into an ‘arena’ in a battle to be the last one left alive.

Some of the teenagers have been training for this for a long time, others are just too young, like little Rue who is only 12 years old. The main character Katniss is only 16 years old but you discover through the book that she’s quite worldly wise and has done a lot to protect her family, including the scary task of taking the place of her sister in the games.

As this book is the first part in a trilogy, I expected Katniss to live through to the end, but there are plenty of moments that leave you wondering what will happen, and the end was definitely unexpected. I’m a little unsure after finishing the book where the next two books are going to go, but we’ll soon find out.

A definite 5/5 rating, if only because I just couldn’t stop reading!

5-5

Now Reading: Suzanne Collins – The Hunger Games

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suzanne-collins-the-hunger-games-e1331933637252I don’t really know what this book is about, but I’ve seen a LOT of blog posts about it when I’ve been browsing WordPress book-related blogs. There’s a film coming out soon, so I want to read the books before the film comes out so that I can decide whether I want to see the film or not (I always have to read the book before watching the film).

My friend Abi also recommended this book and she’s usually got very good taste, so I’m sure I won’t be disappointed!

On a related note, take a look at this shirt she got me:

[tweet https://twitter.com/#!/louiser89/status/180394036388040705 align=’center’]

If you knew me in high school, you’d know why this is so awesome!