Christopher Paolini: Eldest

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

I still think that he drew too much on Tolkien’s characters (Beor Mountains, e.g.). It was also too much detail for me and therefore to slow paced. I did skip some paragraphs or only cross-read them. The end was gripping, yes, but to get there took time. Lots of time.

Also, those lovesick boys…*le sigh*…grow up and learn to deal with a no. I also think, that the author misses out on creating some stronger women. Why do the people in Carvahall treat women as grown-up children who need a man to take care of them and who don’t own anything except some cutlery and who, if they don’t own that, lose worth? Not a society I’d want to live in.

Moving on to book three. I shall finish the series.

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Isaac MArion: Warm bodies

Warm Bodies (Warm Bodies, #1)Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Let me tell you what I didn’t like:

– Julie…I don’t think she is particularly well-written. Why did she not try to punch R’s head in the minute she got a chance? As soon as she was in the plane, she should have shown some fight. Com’on. One zombie. That should be doable, especially since he wouldn’t have expected it.

– I know, it’s a random detail but…zombies ate your boyfriend. And you apply lipgloss before going out to find food with another zombie? because lipgloss lasts for about 10 minutes but since R tasted it on the bottle, it must be really fresh and I can’t think of any woman who’d do that.

– he lost me at one of the guards asking the other guard Are you a pussy? to tell him off for being weak. That is when I wanted to shut the book and stop reading because this explains to me, why Julie is not a strong female character (she can cry and be depressed and cut herself, these aren’t signs of weakness, but she’s just…not very well rounded if you ask me). Any (male) author who takes something female to illustrate weakness does not get any second chance. You should reflect more on the words you use.

– com’on, hit me over the head with the Romeo & Juliet rip-offs, because I didn’t get it. I mean, anyone who didn’t get it from the names, the balcony, Nora (=nurse) must have got it at the ‚opposites attract‘ thingy or at the direct quote (What’s in a name). Please, don’t. Because the play IS NOT A FUCKING LOVE-STORY! And neither is this story. Friendship: maybe. Tolerance: maybe. But love…hell no. Human-eating person who killed other person’s boyfriend and then abducts her (to keep her save, hah)… there’s a name for that: Stockholm Syndrome.

So…I can believe in the zombie apocalypse. I can believe in the setting, the way civilization behaves etc. I can even believe in R’s (re-)actions. But since I cannot believe in anything Julie (or Nora) does, the story lose plausibility. I can believe a lot of things, but not the way she acts or reacts.

And therefore it made barely two stars (I should stay away from books that are turned into movies. I usually tend to be unimpressed by them). (And because of sexism)

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Charles Dickens: Great Expectations

Great ExpectationsGreat Expectations by Charles Dickens
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

My edition (not the one I selected but I couldn’t find it) was in tiny print. I’m sure it would have been twice as thick a book if it had been in a regular typing. So it felt like a really slow read. It took me almost 2 weeks and the protagonist reminded me of all the other protagonists in the Dickens‘ novels I have read so far. Which isn’t a bad thing but I wasn’t all that enthusiastic about it. But nonetheless, a good one to read.

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Neil Gaiman: The Ocean at the End of the Lane

The Ocean at the End of the LaneThe Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I waited impatiently for it and maybe that was the thing, but I wished it had a bit more magic…usually I am left feeling warm and happy and just simply good. And while I still feel some of those feelings, now that I have closed the book, I wish I could have known more about the three women.

I wasn’t all that interested in the protagonist…I couldn’t even tell you his name or if I even read his name, but those women. They are gold. The boy and his troubles reminded me of Coraline and the Other Mother somehow…bad nanny etc. I want to know more about the Ocean…maybe it needed some more words, maybe it’s just me. I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy it or that it isn’t worth a read, I just want more.

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Lionel Shriver: We need to talk about Kevin

We Need to Talk About KevinWe Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

At first I was e bit hesitant to start the book, because I work at school and didn’t want to bring work at home. But once I did, I loved it immediately.

I understand Eva, the mom, so much that at times it was uncanny. All my arguments against becoming a mom are in the book (and some other thoughts I’ve had in regards to the USA). All my fears that I’d be just like her (because you simply cannot give it back, the kid I mean), are in the book. So, that was … interesting to say the least.

The writing itself is intelligent and the style fits perfectly. even though I read the book rather fast, I kept wanting to avoid the ending, since I knew what was to come and I didn’t think I was ready to face it but the style helped and it wasn’t clichéd or over the top, I think.

Anyway, I’d recommend the novel without reservations.

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Terry Pratchett: Monstrous regiment

Monstrous Regiment (Discworld, #31; Industrial Revolution, #3)Monstrous Regiment by Terry Pratchett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Brilliant.

The mood was nothing like e.g. the Twoflower novels. But how can it? It deals with oppression and abuse of women, with war and death and identity and religion and perception and society and the struggle for power and a place in the world. It is probably the most serious in tone of all the Discworld novels I have read so far and it is again very wise.

I truly recommend this. You can read it as a stand alone even, you don’t really need to know who Vimes and Angua are. They only feature a little.

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Philip Pullman: The Amber Spyglass

The Amber Spyglass (His Dark Materials, #3)The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

There might be spoilers.

So basically it said: obsessive religiousness = bad.
And: Lyra = born liar and temptress and manipulative = female
But in the end it came back to having faith and re-creating religion? Or what? And when did Lyra re-create the Fall and how did Mary tempt her? Honestly, how? To what and when and what was it anyway?

The best part was as they were in the world of the dead but the rest was tedious. So, no, not really my cup of tea. I’m disappointed.

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Philip Pullman: The Subtle Knife

The Subtle Knife (His Dark Materials, #2)The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

What I don’t like about it is, that Lyra went from protagonist and from being a strong-willed, independent, smart girl to following around a boy, neglecting her mission to find out more about Dust and letting him boss her around (and he did, don’t even start arguing with me).

Why? Is it because she has to fulfill a role that is sexist? The frail woman who had been persuaded and who disobeyed? And why was book 2 narrated in Will’s POV so much? It would have been clear that he also had a part to play if one had stayed in Lyra’s POV. So, I’m not really happy. (Also, the whole religious theme isn’t interesting but that’s just me because I don’t see a necessity in re-writing a story, in this case the Bible. Well…maybe book 3 will be better.)

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