‘The Melody’ by Jim Crace

The Melody by Jim Crace is a tender psychological fiction novel which features music, celebrity, intrigue and lost love.

In all honesty, I wasn’t the biggest fan of this book and I lost interest for a bit. It was a very atmoshperic book but not much seemed to happen that kept me engaged. There was the mystery of the creature that attacked Busi however that seemed to be in tha background. Maybe it is just because i tend to liek books with a lot going on but I felt even for a book with a subtle storyline it was a little boring.

I felt that the characters where not really explored. We got an insight into Alfred Busi which was good however it didn’t go into as much depth as I would have enjoyed. Yet again this is personal and could be purely because of the first things I look for is characterization. The other characters such as his sister in law and her son were good but again not thoroughly explored. I also didn’t fully understand the two characers at the end of the book, Lex and Busi tennant. i don’t quite understand the relevance.

Yet again this is all personal and I have read reviews of people you have really liked this book for its whimsical and how it looks at loss and mortality. I would definatly recommend that you should read more reviews before deciding whether you want to read this book as I am only one opinion.

I think I may not have connected with this book as well as some of those who have left much better reviews. I wasn’t the biggest fan but that doesn’t mean that you will not so I would one hundred percent recommend to read other reviews to gauge whether you would like it!

Many thanks, Caitlin x

(PS please comment if you have ever read this book or would like to)

Journals

journal
Image Source: http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk

Journals have always been a good way to keep your thoughts organised and together and this has not changed. Recently, I feel as though journals have become much more popular again to keep your thought structured.

People use journals in multiple ways; to plan their time, to record the past and to put their ideas and plans in written form. I personally don’t really have a journal per say however I do have a book where I sometimes record my thoughts on certain books, what I would like to read next and what I have read in the past. This not only helps me keep my opinions on books together but also helps with my blog posts. If I have a thought about certain books I write them down and reference them when writing my posts. I find this extremely helpful as when I am writing a post I can struggle with trying to remember exact thoughts on the book I was reading.

Journals can be great fun and highly creative as it is common for people to design their journal in a way that works the best for them. Using different structures and content and pairing them with illustrations and doodles.

I personally think they are a great help and perfect for those who feel like they have to write everything down (like myself). I would also recommend it for those who write blog posts on any subject as it allows you to organise your thoughts and plan your posts. It can often bring more structure to your thoughts and allow you to look back on these when necessary.

 

Many thanks, Caitlin x

(PS please comment your opinion on journals and whether you use them !)

 

‘The Lost Witch’ By Melvin Burgess

the lost witch

 

The Lost Witch by Melvin Burgess was part of a recent subscription box service I received that I have written a previous blog post on and I have just finished reading it. It is based upon a young girl, Bea, who discovers she has powers. These powers are something that she has never experienced before and she has to come to terms with this alongside a witch hunt headed straight for her. The book is a young adult fiction and one which I enjoyed reading.

This is a book that I generally would not have chosen and I am glad it was a part of this subscription box as I really liked the novel. It has a good balance of character development, mystery and magic to create a great novel. I liked the structure of the book as well as it is chapter based with each chapter being reasonably small in length which allows for easy progression and targets.

The characters in this book are a real strong point as all of the main characters are extremely well thought out and developed. The main character of Bea is likeable and realistic even although she is a witch. She has a real innocence about her as she tries to come to terms with the new discoveries she makes every day and you see a real vulnerable side throughout the book which would be expected with a young teenager.  The other witches you meet throughout the book are also very well developed. This is something I didn’t expect however as there are a few of them and they are not necessarily the main character. Each witch is explained and met in a concise yet informative manner which allows for an insight into who they are and why they are that way. However, I feel as though when we meet back up with Bea’s dad his mental state wasn’t explored enough and I didn’t comprehend fully how he got to that stage.

I found the storyline intriguing and it kept me wanting to read on however I felt as though the ending didn’t do the rest of the book justice. The whole novel is leading up to a climax where it is the witches versus the hunt however I felt as though it was very anti-climactic. It was expected to be a big immense battle which it wasn’t. I also felt as though it was rushed. A lot of time was spent building this moment up but when the ending occurred I felt kind of disappointed. I feel as though even although there was a conclusion it wasn’t one that left me feeling as I had completed this book. I think the ending would have been a lot better if it had a few dedicated chapters specifically to it to be able to explore the possibilities and why it had ended in the way it had. Either that or chapter dedicated to what happened after the moment between the hunt and the witches and to see how Bea handled it alongside the other witches.

Overall, I would highly recommend this book as it is a great read with a great adventure. It has a young female lead and a great storyline. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and would love to read other books by this author.

Many thanks, Caitlin x

(PS please comment if you have ever read this book or would like to in the future)

What would make me give a book a 5/5 rating?

  1. Well-developed characters. To me this is the most important part of a book. If a character is not well-developed then they can often be unrealistic or hinders the intended storyline. You may be more focused on trying to understand the character rather than exploring the storyline and events.
  2. It has to be well structured. This can mean different things to different people so it is completely personal. I prefer having shorter and a larger number of chapters rather than one continuous prose or large sections as it allows me to see progress much easier and provide myself with reading targets. For example to read a chapter before I go to sleep. Even although this is preferred I have read book that are more of a continuous prose and enjoyed it however it has to be written in an engaging way to keep me reading.
  3. It stimulates your brain. A good book has to engage your thoughts and allow you to regularly form your own opinions and feelings for the book and its characters. You must be fully invested into the book and want to continue reading in order to fully enjoy the storyline.
  4. Well-written. The book has to be well-written in an engaging way. This completely depend on the genre and target audience but if, for example, your boo is aimed at a younger audience or children then you have to write it in a way that engages them. Easy to understand language and quick sentences. Whereas crime novels may focus on the correct terminology and language. A book that I have read that was extremely well-written was ‘Call Me by Your Name’ by Andre Aciman. It is written in a beautiful manner that is almost like poetry in the way it flows throughout the pages.

These are a few important factors that I judge a book off of but this isn’t what everyone would prioritise. I personally prioritise character development whereas others may choose the structure. This is my opinions and I hope it helps you to find yours.

Many thanks, Caitlin x

(PS please comment what makes you rate a book 5/5)

My to-read list

I have many books that I come across and really want to read so therefore add it to my to-read list. I have decided to share this list so if you are looking for a new book to read you can have a look at these

 

perfect silence

  1. Perfect Silence by Helen Fields. This book is yet to be released and is expected to be published on the 23 August 2018. It is the fourth instalment in the DI Callanach Series and if you have read previous blog posts you will know I am a big fan of this series. It follows DI Callanach and DCI Ava Turner as they investigate yet another brutal case whilst facign their own personal lives. I am very excited for this book to be released and I cannot wait to read it.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36589626-perfect-silence?ac=1&from_search=true

 

 

diane-jeffrey
Cover not yet released

  1. He Will Find You by Diane Jeffrey. This is yet another book to be released and is due to be available in August 2018. This is the second book by the author following on from her 2017 best selling physiological thriller ‘Those Who Lie’. I really enjoyed this book buy Diane Jeffrey and therefore I am looking forward to reading another one of her novels. IT follows Kaitlyn Best. A girl who becomes pregnant after a one-night stand and begins a new life with her school crush Alex. But is Alex all what he seems?

 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40773724-he-will-find-you?ac=1&from_search=true

pretty little things

 

  1. Pretty Little Things by T.M.E Walsh. This novel is a book that I have wanted to read for a few weeks now after having read ‘All Our Sins’. This book is about an investigation into girls who have gone missing but their bodies found. It follows a mother who is doing all she can to keep her daughter safe after these events and the investigation by DI Madelaine Wood into the murders. Do they know everyone the way they think they do?

 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38091257-pretty-little-things?ac=1&from_search=true

 

how to stop time

  1. How to Stop Time by Matt Haig. This book is one I stumbled across whilst looking online and I was drawn to it. It isn’t something I would generally choose but the idea of it sounds like something that I might enjoy out of my comfort zone. It follows Tom Hazard, to anyone else he is a normal 40 year old man but this isn’t the case. He has been alive for hundreds of years and has had to change his identity regularly in order to survive. He now wants a normal life but can he find it?

I am really excited to read this book and see what it is all about. I would like to see how the author tackles this unusual storyline.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35411685-how-to-stop-time

can you hear me

  1. Can You Hear Me? By Elena Varvello is an Italian Thriller. It is an unbearably hot summer, not unlike many others. For sixteen year-old Elia Furenti, living an unremarkable life of moderate unhappiness, the summer promises little. That is, until the day the beautiful, damaged Anna – the mother of his new friend Stefano – returns to Ponte and firmly propels Elia to the edge of adulthood. Then everything starts to unravel. It is set in 1978 which would usually out me off as I prefer books set in current time however it sounds like a great read and I am looking forward to reading it.

https://www.waterstones.com/book/can-you-hear-me/elena-varvello/alex-valente/9781473654891

Many Thanks, Caitlin x

(PS please feel free to comment if you have read or want to read any of these books.)

Le Petit Prince

As part of my advanced higher French course I had to study Le Petit Prince which is a short novel written by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. It was first published in 1943 and has since been translated and published into more than 250 languages and dialects. It is very well known all across the globe and it has become one of the bestselling books ever published.
It is a riveting story about a pilot stranded in the Sahara desert. After crashing, he meets a young boy from asteroid B-612, who tells him about his adventures. This story has captured the minds of all ages from all over the world with its inspiring messages and enchanting story. It deals with themes such as friendship and love and explores them throughout.

This book is said to have been based on Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s own experiences. The plane crash of the aviators at the beginning of the novel mirrors Saint-Exupéry own experience, as in1935 Saint-Exupéry crashed in the Sahara desert alongside his mechanic-navigator after 19 hours in the air. He quickly became severely dehydrated due to the heat and his lack of water and he was said to have hallucinated many things including a Fennec fox, which has many similarities with the illustrations of le renard in the book. The rose also is said to have links to Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s own life. It is said to represent his wife, Consuelo Suncin, who wrote a memoir about their relationship, titled the Tale of the Rose published after Saint-Exupéry’s disappearance in 1944. It is believed that Saint-Exupéry drew inspiration for the prince off of his self when he was younger as his family would call him Le Roi-Soleil (the sun king) due to his golden curly hair, similar to the Prince’s.

It is a book that explored the themes of love and friendship throughout and often the words have deeper meaning than first thought. Due to this it can be enjoyed by people of all ages even although it is intended to be more of a children’s book. As part of the course I had to analyze the book and due to this I got to look into the deeper meanings of the book and see how powerful it really is.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry has written a book that explored powerful themes whilst being a great story and has managed to create a children’s book that is actually suitable for all ages. He has written a story that seems regular on the surface but once you look deeper it is so much nore. I highly recommend taking the time to read this book and take the time to explore the themes as there is more than just love and friendship.

Many thanks, Caitlin x

(PS please feel free to comment your opinion on this book or one similar)

My top book related gift ideas

A book from a genre the person wouldn’t normally read.

genres
Source:www.kevennewsome.com

I think that receiving a book that isn’t typically within the genre of books you read is a great thing as it broadens your horizons and allows you to explore new genres and stories. It forces you to look outside your comfort zone and experience new plots and characters.

 

A ‘guide to writing’ gift set

As a Christmas present from my sister I received a ‘writers toolbox’ as a gift. Inside it had a multitude of things such as first sentence ideas and plot twist ideas which help to inspire you whilst writing. I think it is a great gift as it gets your mind working and allows you to use your imagination to the fullest.

guide to writing.jpg
source: http://www.pinterest.com

Personalised book

When I was younger I received a personalised book from my auntie. I have always loved the book but when I first received it I thought it was so magical. It was the story of ‘Beauty and the Beast’ but with myself incorporated into the story. I was Belle’s friend and helped her throughout the story. It also featured people from my family in the story also. I think that receiving a personalised book, especially when you are younger, is an incredibly special experience as it makes you feel like you are a part of something. It makes you feel important and helpful as you are a main part of the storyline. As you get older it may be a slightly different effect but it is still a great experience. This is a great gift idea as it brings whole new meaning to being involved and engaged in the story.

personalised book.jpg
Source: http://www.notonthehighstreet.com

Book subscription

A book subscription is also a great gift as there is hundreds of different boxes you can choose for and be able to find the one that most suits the person you are buying the gift box. It also enables you to give the person an opportunity to explore new books and authors that they wouldn’t usually choose. It also adds a bit of fun and excitement to the gift as you don’t know what you are going to receive.

subscrition box.jpg
Source: http://www.pinterest.com

A print of their favourite quote

A print or painting of the persons favourite quote is also a nice gift as it is special to that person and unique to them. It shows you have thought about what the person would like and why. If you receive one you can look at it and be inspired by it daily. It can set your day off well.

original_personalised-lyric-or-quote-print
Source: http://www.notonthehighstreet.com

Personalised bookmark

A personalised bookmark is also a great gift. If it is personalised with all the things the person loves its exciting every time they open their books and see it. It can also often relax people as they recognise things similar and that they know.

bookmark.jpg
Source: http://www.notonthehighstreet.com

Many thanks, Caitlin x

(PS please feel free to comment your gift ideas)