Recent Reads #5

2:29 pm

Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn 

'There are two sides to every story...Who are you? What have we done to each other? These are the questions Nick Dunne finds himself asking on the morning of his fifth wedding anniversary, when his wife Amy suddenly disappears. The police suspect Nick. Amy's friends reveal that she was afraid of him, that she kept secrets from him. He swears it isn't true. A police examination of his computer shows strange searches. He says they weren't made by him. And then there are the persistent calls on his mobile phone. So what did happen to Nick's beautiful wife?'

*Obviously I don't want to use spoilers in my quick reviews of books, but there are some that can easily be hinted at so wary that this short discussion of Gone Girl may spoil things for you unintentionally.*

Despite knowing what happens in this book thanks to the internet and a lack of spoiler tags, this absolutely blew me away. I hate to use the phrase 'page-turner' but Gone Girl really was a page-turner, completely subverting any preconceived ideas of the 'missing person' thriller.The characters of Amy and Nick are beautifully twisted and unlike anything I've read before. Flynn's writing is much smarter than I imagined, with seemingly unimportant points becoming incredibly important later in the book, showing a lot about her deeply intricate planning for this novel. At points I really did find myself shocked by how well things pieced together.

The Day of the Triffids - John Wyndham

'When a freak cosmic event renders most of the Earth's population blind, Bill Masen is one of the lucky few to retain his sight. The London he walks is crammed with groups of men and women needing help, some ready to prey on this who can still see. But another menace stalks blind and sighted alike. With nobody to stop their spread, the Triffids - mobile plants with lethal stingers and carnivorous appetites - seem set to wipe out the survivors.'

I've seen this book mentioned around the book blogging world a lot since Jean reviewed it on her channel Bookish Thoughts, giving it very high praise and exclaiming her love for Wyndham after reading this sci-fi classic. After reading it myself I can completely see why. For a book written over 50 years ago, the fear it provokes in the reader is still there, with the eerie image of nearly eleven-foot plants walking across fields sending shivers up my spine. Wyndham does a brilliant job of describing the society of the time, the events that led to the Triffids arriving on Earth, their spread and the eventual downfall of inner city life. Upon finishing the book I found nothing that was unanswered, with an entire timeline of events being very clear in my mind. I found the investigation into the Triffids themselves hugely fascinating and almost too believable. Along with the references to the search for oil and satellite weaponry, the entire story felt completely viable. 

Divergent - Veronica Roth

Arguably one of the most popular young adult series' of our time, the Divergent trilogy was something I'd never delved into or really felt interested in delving into. I'd heard too many people saying it was just like The Hunger Games but after finishing the first installment of the series I can definitely say those people aren't to be listened to. Sure, I can see some tiny similarities, but there's a whole different world created by Roth here that drew me in from the first page. I felt the characters were built so well, as was the world in which they loved. The idea of the factions and the society that surrounds them fascinates me and I'm really excited to see how the story develops later in the series. I started reading Insurgent a little while ago and I'm already loving it. P.S. I hated the Divergent film. I thought they removed all of the character building the novel did so well, leaving them pretty empty in the adaptation. 

The Sculptor - Scott McCloud

Where do I begin? This may have been the most beautiful graphic novel I've ever read. I've been a fan of Scott McCloud for a while now so when I heard his first graphic novel in nearly ten years was coming out, I knew I needed a copy. His art style is stunning despite only being in white with shades of blue. The story of The Sculptor follows a young, uninspired artist who is at an incredibly low point in his life. When met in a café by the ghost of his dead uncle, he makes a deal with him, gaining the ability to form anything he imagines in his mind with his hands in any material he desires. The catch is that in 200 days he must die. Then along comes the girl of his dreams. Perfect timing, right? This story is heartbreaking but so, so beautiful. I read all 500+ pages in under a day.

Paper Towns - John Green

'Who is the real Margo? Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificent, adventurois Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she opens his bedroom window late one night and summons him to join her on an ingenois campaign of revenge - he follows. After their all-nighter ends and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to find that Margo has not. Always an enigma, she now becomes a mystery and Q soon learns that there are clues to be followed in his search for Margo.'

I planned on reading Paper Towns this year in preparation for the film coming out in June. Honestly, I got three chapters into this book and couldn't take it any further. I was a fan of Looking for Alaska and managed to make my way through The Fault in Our Stars, but I just couldn't stomach Paper Towns. There's only so many quirky teen characters I can handle with oddly philosophical thoughts and slang I can't imagine anyone saying. Although I know many people find John Green's works accessible for any age, I felt so out of touch with this world he created and the people who inhabited it. No longer wasting my time reading books I'm not enjoying, I put this one down.

What have you been reading recently?
M x

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