A mixed month of some very average books, but a couple of gems kept it from being a total bust…
To see more about the books I loved and hated this month, click here.
My Top Three:
A clever and funny debut from the now well-established author Zadie Smith, White Teeth tells a complex tale of clashing families, cultures and religions, set in North London.
This is a bit of a beast at 542 pages but it is worth it – quirky, witty and, at times, laugh-out-loud. Questions of identity and race are placed at the heart of the story without being obnoxious or worthy, and I was fascinated by the sheer humanity of these characters – many of them (if not all!) were awful to each other, but I couldn’t bring myself to hate any of them. They were simply complex, flawed humans.
“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife…”
…and so begins the masterpiece that continues to amuse and delight! Love, scandal, outrage and uncommonly silly sisters are all mixed up into Jane Austen’s classic, Pride and Prejudice, a book I’ve finally read all the way through! I studied this briefly at school, but managed not to read the whole thing (a commitment I carried through most of my education of only doing the bare minimum…)
I had, however, watched the BBC adaptation with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle (repeatedly), and this likely helped me along with some of the language where I could picture the scenes in my memory. It also helped that this adaptation was quite faithful to the book.
To me, the reason this novel is so well loved must be Austen’s talent for creating characters; whether it’s the odious Mr Collins, the embarrassing matriarch Mrs Bennett, or the foolish Lydia, I cant help but love them all.
Glass Sword, Victoria Aveyard’s follow up to the hugely popular Red Queen, was, for me, a 3.5-4 stars. I had so many reasons to round it down, but as I finished it in the café I’d rushed to on my lunch break with the sole purpose of finishing it, I can’t deny that it hooked me in. Damn it.
The many negatives included: excessive use of italics, apparently used to emphasise hard-hitting thoughts; excessive repetition of “Anyone can betray anyone” (I GET IT!) and just general repetition of words and phrases despite the veritable PLETHORA of beautiful words available in the English language.
Despite that, it sucked me in and I couldn’t put it down until I knew what was going to happen. I loathed Mare, but I also had a full blown teenage crush on Cal, Kilorn, Shade, the lot! You don’t have to be a teenage girl to sometimes want a smouldering prince to come to your rescue ok? Plus this one literally smoulders.
On the menu for August:
You can see all of my choices and reviews by following me on Goodreads, let me know what you’re reading so I can get inspired!
NB. Some of my reviews do include spoilers, so please check the top of the post for a warning before reading.
Thanks. Will give White Teeth a go I think.