Monday, 28 April 2014

Relaxed romance - Safe Haven - Nicholas Sparks

When a mysterious woman, Katie arrives in the small town of Southport, things change. Not only for her but for the people she connects with. With the last of her money she rents a rundown cottage on the outskirts of town. She wants peace, a place to escape, and for her this seems the perfect spot. Afraid of the past coming for her, she distances herself from everyone around. Too scared to make any attachments, Katie finds a job and knuckles down into life at a slow pace.

Life always has a few surprises and Katie is noticed by the owner of a local store and widow, Alex. From his own background he knows life has been hard for her, even though she never says a word. As they draw closer, her past finds them and now not only is her life is in danger, but Alex and his children as well.
I have to admit that I picked up this book based on the film adaptation, which I enjoyed. It took me a little while to get use to Nicholas Sparks style of writing. It seemed very simplistic to me but once I got into the story I became lost. The detail at times was a little much, do I really need to know, that she washed her hair, moisturised, put on perfume and pulled out the hair dryer. Just had a shower would have been enough for me.

Reading from Kevin’s point of view fascinated me, especially as he began to lose his mind. There was a nice build up to the finish and a great fight between all concerned. I am not sure about the twist, I can’t make my mind up if it is necessary or not, but overall I enjoyed this read. It got me away from my normal genre which was a nice change.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Disappointing - Allegiant - Veronica Roth

Tris and Tobias are finally out of the city limits and come face to face with the real world, or do they? There are new revelations about the outside world, the troubles, the real reason for the fence, for the factions. Tris has to dig deep, to work out what is right and wrong. Who she can really trust when things begin to fall apart?
Those that have traveled with them really come into their own. You get to see the rounded characters that they have become and understand why they make the choices that they do.

Like the others, the writing style is not to my taste but the stories so far have kept my interest. I have to say that this one did not. The twisting relationship between Tris and Tobias is still an interesting one, which left you guessing if they could get through this latest fight as a couple. When we finally find out about the city, the factions and the experiments I found the direction it was going was an obvious one. As for the reactions of the people from the outer world and the GD (trying not to provide spoilers) it was a predicable prejudice. There was little action throughout until the end. And what an ending, I have to admire the author’s choice, it was a great way to finish the book and I shed a tear of two. It just didn’t make up for the rest of it.

Once you start the series there is a need to know Tris’ story and therefore Allegiant is worth a read, though for me it was the weakest of the three. 

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Unputdownable - Insurgent - Veronica Roth

We join Tris still on the train heading to the city limits with a Tobias at her side. Once outside the fence they seek refuge with the Amity faction. It is clear from the start that things are not going to be simple, and the only way they are going to live in peace is to go back into the city and deal with the chaos.

Another group now come into play, the fractionless and they are not as destitute as they want others to believe. They not only have places to hide and food to eat, but they are organised, waiting for the right moment to make their move. With the other factions in disarray they see their chance, though only with the help of Tobias much to the dismay of Tris, whose internal warning system is screaming at the top of its voice.

Now we are thrown into a constant battle, unsure as to what it right or wrong. Putting people at risk and pushing others to the very limit. Can Tris and Tobias come out of this unscathed? If they survive, can their relationship?

Again when I started reading this it took me at least one chapter to get use to the style of writing. Sentences are clipped, short and to the point. In no time at all I became lost in the story. I needed to know if Tris would overcome even more pain and loss than last time. It started a little slow but once the action began it barely gave me time to breathe. The relationship between Tris and Tobias is never black and white, which I always like to see. There are new friends and enemies and it got a ‘nooo’ out loud, from me when Tris was in mortal peril, which doesn’t happen often.

I read the book in one sitting and couldn’t wait for the third insta
lment so downloaded it the moment I finished Insurgent. Once you get passed the writing style, it is easy to fall in love with this YA dystopian story. It incorporates the much adored fight for survival, love and has no qualms in piling on the loss.
It was close to a five ribbon rating other than the fact that it wasn't a unique story.