These Foolish Things by Deborah Moggach

These Foolish Things by Deborah MoggachBlurb

Enticed by advertisements for a luxury retirement home in India, a group of strangers leave England to begin a new life.

On arrival, however, they discover the palace is a shell of its former self, the staff are more than a little eccentric and the days of the Raj appear to be long gone.

But, as they soon discover, life and love can begin again, even in the most unexpected circumstances.

My Perspective

These Foolish Things is about a retirement home that is set up in India for those living in Britain. Instead of wiling away the rest of their years in some dreary place in the UK, instead they could be enjoying the best that has India has to offer – and for a fraction of the cost. The story follows a few different characters and their different perspectives on the place.

When i found out that the movie, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, was based on a book, i really wanted to read it. It only took me around five years!

I really enjoyed the story. It was well written, interesting and flowed at a nice, even pace. Although i had watched the movie and knew the basic premise, the book is quite different with more characters and different story lines. There were a few similarities however not enough that you knew the story or how it would end. I can see why they changed what they did for the movie (too many characters in a movie can make it hard to follow).

The characters were really well developed. They were diverse and you couldn’t help but love most of them even if they weren’t lovable! I love reading books where it’s written from the perspective of a few different characters as i find it really lends a depth to the story and makes it that much more interesting.

There wasn’t really any sex per se in the book however there were a few sexual references that were quite blunt and descriptive. I actually found some of it was a bit out of place and i didn’t really understand the relevance or need for it.

Overall this was a really enjoyable read that was fresh and different to a lot of what’s out there. I would definitely recommend it.

Rewrite Redemption by J.H. Walker

Rewrite Redemption by J.H. WalkerBlurb

She’s sixteen. He’s seventeen. They don’t know each other…at least not yet.

She has a secret and her whole life revolves around keeping it. Every few months and with little warning, she simply disappears, pulled into the past for hours or even days. She’s terrified it will happen in front of someone, changing her life forever. So far, the only witnesses have been her parents, and that didn’t end well. She has no control over it and no idea why it happens to her.

She wants answers.

He has answers—at least he understands what’s going on. He has a secret, too. He’s part of an organization that goes back in time to rewrite reality. But he also has a problem. He broke the organization’s number-one rule by altering his own timeline. As punishment, he’s been blocked from time travel, which is most unfortunate. Because the changes he made to his timeline, accidentally resulted in disaster for his family. A disaster he’s now prevented from repairing. No one can travel beneath the organization’s radar except a Shadow. But they’re rare, so rare he’s never even met one.

Then he moves to her town.

My Perspective

This is the twentieth book I read from my post Credit Where Credit’s Due. I read about Rewrite Redemption by J.H. Walker at Ramblings In The Skye. You can read their thoughts on the book here.

Rewrite Redemption is mainly about A.J., a sixteen year old girl who is able to travel back in time. However not by her own will, it happens randomly and not always at the best of times. Struggling to survive high school without her secret becoming known, A.J. hides behind dark glasses and a large hoodie, her only friends being Lex and iPod. However one day that all changes when a new boy moves into town, he too having her ability.

I really enjoyed this book. The premise of time travel has always interested me so i like to read books that explore it. This was a completely different take on it, which i appreciated it and it reminded me slightly of the ISOs in Tron: Legacy.

A.J. is easy to like and root for. My heart really went out to her because of what happened with her parents and you really want everything to work out for her. Lex and iPod were great best friends and you couldn’t help but like them too. Constantine on the other hand had me in two different minds. He was a great guy who was easy to like however he also annoyed me and i didn’t like everything about him and his attitude. However in a way it was good because it meant he wasn’t perfect.

Obviously as the premise of the book is time travel, you kind of get the obvious that everything is probably going to work out well because they can just go back in time and “fix” things. However the journey on how and what the end result will be was not what i expected. I had some inklings about things however didn’t know if the author was going to go there or not and I’m really glad that they did.

As it is a young adults book, there is teenage romance throughout, which didn’t have me rolling my eyes as much as i thought. It was very present however i enjoyed it more than i thought i would. Don’t get me wrong, there were plenty of eye rolling, corny moments – however the story was interesting enough that it was able to carry them without it losing my attention.

The explanations and science behind everything was a little far fetched however explained it quite well and was to some extent plausible. Obviously you have to suspend some belief when it comes to time travel however this was a good example of it not being ridiculously impossible.

I did find that some of the book may have been a bit unnecessary. I found that the story got a bit bogged down by the amount of inner dialogue. I felt it would have been a bit more interesting had some of that been trimmed down and that it would have flowed a bit faster.

Overall it was a really enjoyable book that i would definitely recommend if you like young adult science fiction.

Draekora (The Medoran Chronicles #3) by Lynette Noni

Draekora (The Medoran Chronicles #3) by Lynette NoniBlurb

“I swear by the stars that you and the others slain tonight will be the first of many. Of that you have my word.”

With Aven Dalmarta now hiding in the shadows of Meya, Alex is desperate to save Jordan and keep the Rebel Prince from taking more lives. Training day and night to master the enhanced immortal blood in her veins, Alex undertakes a dangerous Meyarin warrior trial that separates her from those she loves and leaves her stranded in a place where nothing is as it should be. As friends become enemies and enemies become friends, Alex must decide who to trust as powerful new allies—and adversaries—push her towards a future of either light… or darkness. One way or another, the world will change…

My Perspective

I was hanging out for the release of this on April 1! I bought it as soon as it was available and i couldn’t put it down.

Draekora follows Alex as she begins her training in Meya, specifically the Varranguard, to test her abilities and where her strengths and weaknesses lie. However fate has a different course of action for her and Alex soon finds herself caught in something she never could have imagined.

Draekora is the sequel to Raelia and is the third instalment in The Medoran Chronicles. I was slightly disappointed in Raelia however i can say for sure i did not feel the same about Draekora!

The story continues on pretty much from the end of Raelia. It jumps right into the action and i was almost immediately immersed in the story. It is fairly even paced yet still keeps you on your toes.

I liked Alex again in Draekora however i still find her a bit naive. I feel like some things are so obvious and she takes forever to “get them”. I enjoyed meeting the new characters, who were really likeable and also getting to know familiar characters even more. It was also interesting to get to know them in a different way. You certainly feel a bit torn by the end of the story.

I have to say that the main plot of the story was super predictable however all the smaller storylines throughout weren’t and despite knowing where it was all leading, i still really, really enjoyed reading the book. Like I’ve mentioned before, although it’s not a Nobel Prize winning novel, i love reading them. They are interesting, hold my attention and i can’t wait for the next one to be released. Also i definitely noticed a significant improvement in the author’s writing throughout Draekora.

Without spoiling the ending…it really tears you apart. Even though i knew what was going to happen, the way that it happened was heartbreaking. WHY IS IT ANOTHER WHOLE YEAR FOR THE NEXT BOOK TO COME OUT?

Overall i would definitely recommend this series to those who like YA fantasy, however you obviously should start at the beginning with Akarnae.

The Importance of Being Ernest by Oscar Wilde

The Importance of Being Ernest by Oscar WildeBlurb

Cecily Cardew and Gwendolen Fairfax are both in love with the same mythical suitor. Jack Worthing has wooed Gwendolen as Ernest while Algernon has also posed as Ernest to win the heart of Jack’s ward, Cecily. When all four arrive at Jack’s country home on the same weekend, the girls to fight for Ernest’s undivided attention and the “Ernests” to claim their beloveds, pandemonium breaks loose.

Only a nursemaid and an old, discarded hand-bag can save the day!

My Perspective

I actually read this because i was impatiently awaiting April 1 so i could read Draekora, the third book in The Medoran Chronicles. I’d seen the movie with Colin Firth so knew the general story line however i actually didn’t realise it was written as a play!

The story is about two young gentlemen friends who get themselves in a bit of a pickle when their fictional alter egos fall in love, their lovers think their names are Ernest and they won’t accept a lover with any other name.

The characters are all equally lovable as well as irritating, which works well for the story.

I couldn’t help but giggle all the way through the story, knowing what was coming yet still laughing like it was a complete surprise.

Obviously as the story was written in 1899, the language is a bit heavy however like I’ve said before, i don’t mind that at all. Also as it was written in the format of a play, some might find it stilted because it doesn’t flow like a novel however I’ve read quite a few plays and i don’t really even notice it anymore.

Overall i thoroughly enjoyed reading The Importance of Being Ernest and it was a nice, quick read that left me unhindered to start reading Draekora as soon as it was released. I would definitely recommend it if you like classics and comedy.

The Sea Wolf by Jack London

The Sea Wolf by Jack LondonBlurb

The novel begins when Van Weyden is swept overboard into San Francisco Bay, and plucked from the sea by Larsen’s seal-hunting vessel, the Ghost. This ship’s evil captain, Wolf Larsen – The Sea-Wolf – is a murderous tyrant who uses his superhuman strength to torture and destroy, his brilliant mind to invent sick games, and his relentless will to control his mutinous crew. Pressed into service as a cabin boy by the ruthless captain, Van Weyden becomes an unwilling participant in a brutal shipboard drama. Larsen’s increasingly violent abuse of the crew fuels a mounting tension that ultimately boils into mutiny, shipwreck, and a desperate confrontation.

My Perspective

Having just read and enjoyed Treasure Island, I was definitely looking for something similar so I browsed all the classics that I’ve downloaded onto my Kobo and The Sea Wolf caught my eye. It wasn’t what I expected though!

The Sea Wolf is the story of Humphrey Van Weyden, a gentleman who becomes shipwrecked and is rescued by the sealing schooner, The Ghost. Rather than being dropped at the nearest port, he is put to work as cabin boy under Captain Wolf Larsen, who is known as one of the meanest captains in the sealing industry. Who he discovers is much more than simply a cruel man though and through his own intellect and previous study, he is able to connect with Wolf unlike any other person has before.

I quite liked Humphrey. At first i found him to be a bit insufferable however he soon got over himself and embraced his circumstances to the best of his ability. I respected him all the more with how hard he worked and the strength of character that he developed was very satisfying. Wolf Larsen was a completely fascinating character. I could not bring myself to hate him despite his evil ways. I found it hard to love Miss Brewster however i had to remind myself of the era in which she came from and when in context, she showed a lot of courage and bravery.

This book is not just a “sea faring tale”. The philosophical aspects it explores are intense and extremely challenging to one’s ideals. As i had no idea that the book involved any of that, i was a little bit unprepared however soon adjusted.

I enjoyed the basic story and adventure and i felt that it was written at quite an even pace. I did find it ended quite abruptly however really, it ended as it should have.

Overall it was an extremely well written book twisting adventure with philosophy. It certainly isn’t for the fainthearted of words and if you think, like i did, that it’s another “Treasure Island” – think again. This is more like a Tolstoy crossed with Treasure Island! I would definitely recommend this as a great classic and if you like stories that actually have a bit of substance to them.

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

29485885Blurb

A mysterious seaman hides at a country inn; cut-throats raid a sleepy English village; suddenly, young Jim Hawkins becomes the owner of a map leading to a lost tropical island and a fortune in stolen gold. Three adventurers–Jim, Squire Trelawney, and Dr. Livesey–set out to find the treasure. — But they trust the one they should most fear, Long John Silver. Charming, brave, ruthless, murderous, Silver fills the squire’s ship with pirates. And on the desolate, fever-infested island, the quest for gold becomes a deadly war of hide and seek. Desperate defenders against merciless killers battling over a cursed treasure won with blood, buried with blood, sought with blood. Incredible wealth that Jim and his friends can only claim…

My Perspective

Treasure Island is the story of how Jim Hawkins came to be in possession of a treasure map and the journey and adventure he went on with Doctor Livesey and Squire Trelawney to acquire it.

I’m really in the mood for adventure stories at the moment so this is exactly what I felt like reading.

I really liked Jim. He was an easygoing young man, eager to please, hardworking, quick thinking and he had a lot of courage. Doctor Livesey was also an easy character to like whether Squire Trelawney I found a bit too freely spoken and over confident. John Silver was friendly and very easy to like, which of course made me suspicious. The rest of the crew were typical pirates, or “buccaneers”, self interested, not too smart, violent and drunk on rum all the time.

The story was very interesting and well paced, keeping you on your toes and turning the pages quickly. I did find some of the language hard to understand at times however it added to the feel of the story so I wouldn’t change it.

Overall it was a really enjoyable story, well written and full of adventure. I would definitely recommend it if you like classics, adventure stories or historical fiction.

Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

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Blurb

Taken from the poverty of her parents’ home in Portsmouth, Fanny Price is brought up with her rich cousins at Mansfield Park, acutely aware of her humble rank and with her cousin Edmund as her sole ally. During her uncle’s absence in Antigua, the Crawford’s arrive in the neighborhood bringing with them the glamour of London life and a reckless taste for flirtation. Mansfield Park is considered Jane Austen’s first mature work and, with its quiet heroine and subtle examination of social position and moral integrity, one of her most profound.

My Perspective

I’m pretty proud to say that I’ve now read all of Jane Austen’s major novels, Mansfield Park being the last one. I’m a pretty huge Jane Austen fan so i think it’s only proper that i am acquainted with all of her works!

Mansfield Park follows the early life of Fanny Price, who at a young age is sent to live at Mansfield Park with her wealthy uncle, aunt and cousins, as an act of charity towards her larger, poorer family. Fanny is extremely shy and quiet however she soon adapts with the support of her elder cousin, Edmund. However with the arrival of the Crawford’s into the neighbourhood, much drama and scandal ensues with Fanny’s heart caught in the middle.

The story is well written with plenty of rich descriptions and character development. It is slower paced with a definite slow build up of tension and climax.

I’m not sure what i thought of Fanny. In some ways i really liked her, however her frail temperament really irritated me. I appreciated how reserved and thoughtful she was, especially in comparison with the other female characters. Most of the other characters annoyed me or i was indifferent towards. I really wanted to love Edmund however i could only just like him (and half the time i thought he was an idiot for being so blind). To be honest i was a little disappointed in the characters. It wasn’t that they weren’t well written – i just couldn’t grab hold of them and endear them like the characters in most of Jane’s other novels.

I also found the story ended very quickly and a bit oddly – it was wrapped up like an epilogue. I found this surprising because the novel itself was quite slow paced and nothing happened quickly.

Overall it was still a great novel, the intricacies of English society well explored. I would probably say it’s my least favourite Jane Austen novel though so if you’re going to start reading Jane Austen, maybe don’t start with this one.