Emma Louise (foxxy_moron) wrote in bookish,
Emma Louise

Review and Request

Hello everyone in the bookish community! This is my first ever post, and today I come with four short reviews and a request for some recommendations.


Title: Feeling Sorry For Celia

Author: Jaclyn Moriaty
Genre: Young Adult – Ages 13 – 17  

A story told in the form of letters written between two girls attending different schools as part of an English project.


Synopsis from Amazon.com

Life isn't going well for high school student Elizabeth Clarry. Her absentee father just moved back to Australia from Canada for a year, and now he wants to spend "quality time" with her. She's getting anonymous love notes from a boy who refuses to tell her his name. Worst of all, her best friend has run away and joined the circus.


My Thoughts:

Pros: A light hearted read with quite a few engrossing and heart wrenching moments. Not as good as Jaclyn Moriaty’s book ‘Finding Cassie Crazy’ but similar and interesting in its own way. I read this over four – five days and is great for a light, easy going book on the weekend or while on holidays.


Cons: I’m not too fussed on books written entirely in letter form, or diary form, but regardless of this flaw I found the book still flowed quite well. Another criticism would be character based, as I didn’t really connect with the characters or their development throughout the book.

Overall Rating: 6  out of 10


Title: Chain of Hearts
Author: Maureen McCarthy
Genre: Young Adult – Ages 15 to 18

A story of a teenage girl, Sophie, taking a break from life and goes to live with her Aunt Fran in a small, quiet town. The story unfolds from two points of view, with delicious plot line developments.

At seventeen, Sophie is a mess. Her best friend is dead and her boyfriend has gone. She's dropped out of school, sleeps through the day, eats all night and refuses to see anyone. Her family has had enough. But Sophie is about to embark on the strangest journey of her life. It will take her back into her family's past, back to the origins of the bitter rift between her mother and her Aunt Fran, to her Uncle Jimmy and the Vietnam War, and finally to the girl in the painting and the story haunting all their lives.

My Thoughts
Pros: A unique story with unique characters and settings. The characters are wonderful and beautifully written. Though the book was split between two points of view, the transition between each character was flawless and well done. The plotline was satisfying and engrossing.

Cons: While Sophie was by far the most interesting character, the story was let down a little by the chapters written in Fran’s point of view, who I did not find as interesting.

Overall Rating: 8 out of 10


Title: The Thirteenth Tale
Author: Diane Setterfield
Genre: General Adult Fiction

Vida Winter, England's most famous and reclusive writer, is nearing the end, and before she goes she wants her amazing life story to be recorded for posterity. For this, she engages a lonely young biographer, Margaret Lea, who has a few secrets of her own. When these two forceful women meet, the stage is set for an ever-mounting series of shocking surprises.

My Thoughts:
Overall it was a so-so sort of book. While the plotlines were intense and invoking, I found that the writing style didn’t really match the impact that the book could have had.

Pros: The storylines. Who doesn’t love a old-timey story of family secrets and shocking twists?

Cons: Large in length, and the writing style was a little emotionless and sterile.

Overall Rating: 6 out of 10


Title: Queen Kat, Carmel & St Jude Get A Life
Author: Maureen McCarthy
Genre: Young Adult – 17 to 21

This is a wonderfully passionate & absorbing novel which explores the lives of three very different girls in their first year out of school, who share an inner city Melbourne house. All three girls come from the small country town of Manella. Katrina, priveleged, beautiful, & sophisticated, is the daughter of a wealthy medical family; Carmel, from a struggling farming family is overweight & inhibited, but has a gift for music, & Jude, a medical student, is the daughter of a Chilean doctor who was murdered when she was two.

My Thoughts:
Aimed mostly at older young adult readers, late high school to university students perhaps, and being in that category, I found this book to be a great look at young adult life and that scary stage of growing up and finding your feet in the real world.

Pros: The characters. Fantastic characters, each with their own intruiging story to tell. Written from three points of view, the book is separated into three parts and flows magically, as most of Maureen McCarthy’s books do.

Cons: An abrupt ending that was a little disappointing, but not a lot of things were wrong with this book.

Overall Rating: 8 ½ out of 10

REQUEST: As you can see i've read alot of lighthearted books lately hence i'm looking for something a little darker, perhaps disturbing. Drugs, sex, alcohol, angst, anything :)

Tags: category: young adult, genre: fiction

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