J.K. Rowling: The Casual Vacancy

The Casual VacancyThe Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I picked the 2 stars because there are no 2,5. Because I’m not sure I liked it. Or maybe I don’t want to like it.

The characters, all trapped in their silly little lifes and drama nobody cares for are undeniably human and well written, but they annoyed me so much, that I wondered why I bothered reading on (and yes, annoying me as a reader might be intentional). I get it. Life is fucked, people are hypocrites and don’t I know it, I’ve been unemployed too. But not everyone is, in real life anyways, and taking out one person out of the equation might but doesn’t have to, tip the balance as much as Barry Fairbrother’s death did (let’s not get into speaking names, shall we) and yes, there’s Kay for instance, but still… Also, all the dieing is a bit too much. I don’t think it was necessary to get the point across, that people are biased, egoistic, caught up in their own lifes, fallible and often, suck.

And yet, it did affect me.

So, I honestly don’t know.

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John Green: The Fault in our stars

The Fault in Our StarsThe Fault in Our Stars by John Green
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am hesitant to read books that have been widely claimed as amazing. So often I’m disappointed when reading them. So, I put this one off.

Let me just say, this time I wasn’t disappointed. Even though (and especially towards the end) the characters sometimes seemed too good to be true, it triggered all the emotions and I sobbed into my e-reader. I loved the humor. I’m not usually taken in with love stories, but this one worked.

As I stared it I wanted to give up on ever becoming a writer. But then I forced myself to remember all the bad writing that is published and I have regained a grain of hope. (That’s the curse of reading really good books. They screamed at me, unintentionally I know; that I suck. *lol*)

Anyway: if you haven’t read this, give it a go. It won’t disappoint. Break your heart, yes, but not in a bad way.

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Christopher Paolini: Brisingr

Brisingr  (The Inheritance Cycle, #3)Brisingr by Christopher Paolini
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This one started much much better and really had my attention. I also read through it quicker, which translates as me not labouring over it. Also, by now I know which passages to skip. E.g. It would have been enough for me to have Roran sum up his ‚adventures‘ to Eragon over the wedding cake or something. No need to have them in such detail (and yes I know they are there to show character and mood, but honestly, I got it as Roran left Carvahall behind, I didn’t need his Conan-esque behaviour to be shown it all the detail).
But yes, better. More entertaining, but still too slow-paced for me.

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Arthur Miller. Death of a Salesman

Death of a SalesmanDeath of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I think it is one of the best plays I ever read.

But it is also one of the most terrible in the sense that it is a nightmare. I felt trapped while reading it. The characters desperate hopes, their self-denial and their lack of communication with each other…it really got under my skin.

It truly still reflects the pressure of society put on the individual to be better and brighter and richer and more beautiful and whatever else than one actually is. And the result of that pressure.

Powerful.

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